News Briefing March 2017

This is the third News Briefing to be collated in lieu of UPDATE, since we have yet to find a volunteer to edit this. This issue has been prepared by David Yarwood. Needless to say, responses and contributions from members will be most welcome. Please address these to the honorary Secretary, Chandra Vaghela.

We welcome Mr Keith Richardson FCCA, who has recently joined us as Honorary Treasurer in place of David Yarwood, who remains as a Trustee.

It is with sadness and great regret that we report the death of Arun Bhat on the 2 February. Arun has been a loyal supporter of PARITY for many years and a Trustee since 2010. We shall miss him and his support greatly.

News Items:

  • Equality statistics
  • New Domestic Violence and Abuse Act
  • Britain’s boy crisis
  • CPS feminisation
  • Gender pay gap
  • The Justice Gender Gap
  • Prostate cancer

Equality statistics:

The way that so-called ‘equality’ statistics are manipulated to disfavour males, was well illustrated by a letter from a Dr Steven Field published in the Daily Telegraph in October 2016. ‘Being equal in Britain’.

Sir, Those shocked by Britain’s place in the Global Gender Equality Index (report, October 26), which puts us 26th – below countries such as Rwanda – may like to consider the way in which the index is calculated.

In its statement on methodology the Index admits that it ignores any cases where women “outperform” men. In top-of-the-table-Iceland, for example, only 37 per cent of students in tertiary education are male, but this does not count as a gender gap. If it were the other way round, it would count as a huge gap.

The Index also assumes that women are entitled to have healthy lives at least 6 per cent longer than those of men. In the UK, the difference in life expectancy is only 4 per cent, and this therefore counts as a gender gap disadvantaging women.

Some inequalities, such as male-only compulsory military service or an earlier pension age for women, are ignored completely. The Index may serve a purpose in that it indicates areas where women are disadvantaged, but it is certainly not an even-handed measure of equality.

Gender Pay gap:

The alleged gender pay gap is a bit like the legendary ‘curates egg’. Some is edible and some is not. It really depends on what factors are compared. “Basically, the statistics on the gender pay gap are so various and so nuanced that almost anyone can take anything out of it and say what they want” says Sheila Wild, a former head of age and earnings at the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Legal entitlement:

Sometimes when people see ‘gender pay gap’ they think it means that women are getting paid less for doing the same work as men. But women have a legal entitlement to equal pay for equal work, so this situation is most unusual and unlawful.

Working part-time:

A much clearer factor behind the gender pay gap found by the Institute of Fiscal Studies is the effect of part-time work. Women are three times more likely to be part-time workers than men. One in seven men are part-timers compared to three in seven women. That is important because part-time work, on average, attracts lower hourly rates. It’s not just that part-time workers get less because they work fewer hours. They actually get paid less per hour. So arguably, what we are talking about is a part-time wage gap.

That contributes to a gender pay gap because women are more likely to be working part-time.

“Women’s work”:

Another reason why men, on average, get paid more than women is that more men tend to work in better paid jobs.

But why do more women end up in worse paid jobs? “First of all, it’s difficult to disentangle what is choice and what is forced choice”, says Wild. “Most people’s selection of their employment is determined by all sorts of things. It’s determined by the national labour market – what sorts of jobs are available. It’s determined by the local labour market. It’s determined by family circumstances”. “And, then, on the other side of that, there’s employer selection, and the wellknown phenomenon of people appointing in their own image”.

“Also, of course, culture plays a role too – what our society sees as appropriate jobs for men and
appropriate jobs for women”.

Age:

It also depends on age. If we take the official figures on the gender pay gap, it’s much larger for women in their 50s, at 27%, than it is for women in their 20s, who are paid 4% less than the average man in their age group. Strip out part-time workers, and the gap more or less disappears for women aged 22 to 39.

If we look just at full-time workers, the gap has been getting smaller for pretty much everyone – except for the over-50s.

Conclusion:

So, when it comes to the gender pay gap, the numbers you get depend on the question you ask. Source: Four ways the gender pay gap isn’t all it seems. Simon Maybin. BBCNewsMagazine, 29 August 16

Prostate cancer:

Every year thousands of men are diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. It is hoped that with more targeted research, some progress will be made to allow men to hope that eventually a cure will be found for this.

The charity Prostate Cancer Research UK has announced recently that as part of such new research, it is proceeding with a new trial – ADRRAD, in an attempt to help find such a cure. ‘It’s the first of its kind and could potentially change the way we treat, diagnose and prevent prostate cancer’.

The theory is simple – by combining current effective cancer treatments with a drug called radium-223, the hope is that it can ‘stop advanced prostate cancer in its tracks’. Prostate Cancer UK claims that the potential of this work is huge. But they need more funding support to afford the equipment and staff they need to run this ground-breaking trial.

Any gifts or donations would be welcome to support this work. Prostate Cancer UK can be contacted on 020 3310 7000. Details can be found on www.prostatecanceruk.org.

View Full Article Here.

Editorial Team

Team of volunteers who edit the website.

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