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Women and New LabourEngendering politics and policy?$
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Claire Annesley, Francesca Gains, and Kirstein Rummery

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861348289

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861348289.001.0001

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New Labour policy and the gender pay gap

New Labour policy and the gender pay gap

(p.133) Seven New Labour policy and the gender pay gap
Women and New Labour

Grimshaw Damian

Policy Press

This chapter reports the empirical trends in women's relative pay. Against a backdrop of limited improvement in gender pay equality, it then explores the government's response along three dimensions: the role of the Women's Equality Unit and special review bodies; specific labour-market policy; and changes in public-sector pay. Analysis of earnings data over the last 20 years provides an essential backdrop to the question of how effective the New Labour government has been in closing the gender pay gap. It is shown how government bodies, voluntary-sector organisations, and public- and private-sector employers could implement new practices to help women make better choices in the world of work. New Labour must decide whether the current state of women's employment is appropriate to the norms and values of twenty-first-century UK society. The evidence from the bulk of social-science research suggests that a radical shift in policy is needed.

Keywords:   gender pay equality, labour-market policy, Women's Equality Unit, New Labour, gender pay gap, employment, UK society

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