A one-size fits all approach in research and policy means that millions of women are not being seen or heard by policymakers.
The report argues that inadequate data means that women as a homogenous group. There is also a lack of focus on the experiences of women. This means that:
Policy responses lack the necessary sophistication to meet the unique needs of particular women and the additional barriers they face.
The report makes the following key recommendations:
- Data: To fully understand the experiences of “invisible women” we need additional data that allows for comparisons between different groups of women.
- Policy: The Government should evaluate and review existing legislation and policy to ensure it takes a joined up view of the interaction between gender and other protected characteristics. In particular, a more intersectional approach to closing the gender pay gap, apprenticeship recruitment, childcare provision, and industrial strategy.
- Law: Make it possible to bring a discrimination claim based on an individual’s true identity, by reviewing and then implementing Section 14 of the Equality Act 2010.
- Services: Many public services do not reflect the needs and experiences of intended service users. This risks excluding women with multiple characteristics from much-needed support. The APPG urges improvements to mental health and employment services in particular.
Also read a related Fawcett Society blog post written by Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu.