Speaking at the launch of Women’s Equality Network Wales, Jane Hutt will ask them to use their new remit to look in detail at the impact of UK spending. The Minister will also ask the network to consider the impact of the Welsh Government’s Budget on women across Wales.
The Women’s Equality Network Wales, awarded funding this month, is to act as a voice for all organisations representing women across Wales and a sounding board for the Welsh Government in assessing the impact of its delivery on women.
The role of the network will be to enhance the influence of women in Welsh society and develop ways for women to influence the strategies and policies which affect them.
Equality Minister Jane Hutt will say:
“There is no doubt that women face challenging years ahead. Budget decisions made by the UK Government, including cuts to benefits and allowances will have a direct impact on women. The Welsh Government has already undertaken an Equality Impact Assessment of our Budget and the newly created Wales Women’s Network can use its remit to seek the views of women in Wales on both UK spending cuts and our own work as a Government.”
“Also key in the coming months is the creation of the Welsh Specific Equality Duties which require all public authorities to treat everyone fairly - something that I am also keen the network work closely with us on in order to hear women’s views.”
Chair of WENWales, Kirsty Davies said:
“The women’s movement has developed in an organic way, with many women playing their own role in small groups or through other organisations. Now is the time to work together to create a fair Wales, and we want to harness the expertise and enthusiasm of all the women in Wales working for equality. We also want to engage with women across Wales – reaching out to women in all our communities to ask them what changes they want to see.”
The Welsh Government is committed to lessening the impact of the UK Government’s cuts on the most disadvantaged in Welsh society as well working to ensure its own work as a Government creates a fairer Wales. The Welsh Government has carried out impact equality assessments on its own budget decisions.
It is presently asking for people’s views on any areas of inequality they believe exist in Wales through a survey and face to face sessions with groups ranging from new mums in Monmouthshire to office workers in Swansea. The Making the Equality Act real for Wales survey closes on December 2nd and will inform the Welsh Government’s Welsh Specific Equality Duties.