The impact on women of austerity policies has often been assumed to be an unfortunate side-effect driven not by ideology but simple bad luck. Women are more likely to work in the public sector, and therefore were hit harder by mass job losses. More women than men are single parents, and as such more women have suffered due to the benefit cuts.
Few in mainstream politics have suggested this was intentional – instead the impression given is that this has represented a lack of thought or care about the needs of women. Undoubtedly the result of a sexist society, but still pretty much business as usual, particularly for the Tory Party.
The reality, which has gone almost unnoticed even during a much discussed feminist revival, is that Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms represent an attack on women’s autonomy which is unprecedented in the UK’s recent history. And this assault –…
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