These are six things women want from new Prime Minister Theresa May

 
Geeta Sidhu-Robb
TOPSHOT-BRITAIN-EU-POLITICS
A six-point wishlist for Prime Minister May (Source: Getty)

Theresa May's appointment as prime minister last week marked a crucial moment in history for women throughout the UK.

Taking her rightful place as the second female PM, May will by default become a significant role model for women facing the struggle for gender parity.

In light of her new role, women in business nationwide have been voicing their opinions on what should come next in order to achieve equality between the sexes.

These six items should be among her top priorities:

1. Mind the gap

No matter how much we like to think men and women are equal in today’s world, the gender pay gap still exists, and the problem remains widespread. Now standing at 19.7 per cent, it means workplaces have a lot of work to do to bridge the inequality gap.

May referred to the gender pay gap in her leadership speech, and promised to pursue a fairer society – we all look forward to seeing her efforts unfold.

2. Women: All aboard

In the UK, there are more people in FTSE boardrooms called John or David than there are women. Firm action should be taken to ensure this does not continue.

There is an abundance of skilled and educated women in the UK, and many are being overlooked by employers due to poor judgement.

Read more: The most influential women in the City

As of 2016, only 21 per cent of senior management roles were held by women – May, as a woman in power herself, is now in the position to meet the targets set for 2020, and ensure one third of boardroom seats are filled by women.

3. Say turrah to tampon tax

Luxury items are just that – luxury.

The fact that tampons are subject to tax – as if we women have a choice on whether to menstruate or not – is truly unacceptable. EU leaders were looking to tackle this issue before the referendum, but after the fallout the issue has the potential to fall through the cracks.

Now in a position of higher power, May can utilise this debate to ensure womens' voices are heard. With only 29 per cent of parliament being women, it is no surprise that we feel we are being marginalised.

4. Reduce childcare costs, now

In the UK, the average cost of sending a child to nursery full-time is £212 per week and in some places it is more expensive than sending your child to a private primary school.

As a result, there are currently 2,020,000 women and 247,000 men who are unemployed due to their need to look after the family or home. The numbers speak for themselves – reduce childcare costs and allow our women to have the careers they wish for.

Read more: Women in London work more than women in the rest of the UK

5. End violence against women

Theresa May has been particularly vocal about tackling domestic violence during her time as home secretary. In fact, earlier this year May launched an investigation into police officers who instigated inappropriate relationships with victims.

In 2014, May even announced another facet to the domestic abuse offence, named "coercive and controlling behaviour".

This was an insightful move, as domestic abuse is primarily an emotional crime and secondarily a physical one. Now we need to make it safer for victims of abuse to come forward.

6. The UK is IN for equality

Of the many beneficial regulations and processes put forward by the EU are those addressing gender equality, maternity and paternity leave and women’s economic independence.

Following the Brexit vote, women across the UK would urge Theresa May to consider all that the EU gave us, and keep it protected in domestic legislation, making sure not to scrap key laws such as the Human Rights Act (which the Tories have previously said they consider).

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