AN Oxford MP said women’s real wages are more than £200 less than they were under Labour and accused the Conservatives of having “levelled women down”.

Labour MP and shadow women and equalities secretary Anneliese Dodds, who represents Oxford East, was speaking in the House of Commons and asked Foreign Secretary and minister for women and equalities Liz Truss whether she agreed that “her Government has levelled women down, with women’s real wages now £226 less per year than when Labour left office.”



Ms Truss responded: “I don’t agree with that at all. We are entirely focused on tackling the causes of the gender pay gap, making it easier for people to afford childcare, normalising flexible working, and helping women get into those top jobs, particularly in areas like Stem, where they can earn more money.”

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Scottish National Party spokeswoman Kirsten Oswald said: “The Women’s Budget Group has pointed out that women are being hit the hardest by this Tory cost of living crisis.”

Ms Truss said: “What we’re doing is helping more women get into higher paid jobs, helping more women set up enterprises.”

She added: “We want to help women by giving them opportunities and new businesses to set up.”

Oxford Mail:

Speaking during a session of equalities questions in the Commons, Ms Dodds also asked education minister Michelle Donelan to condemn comments made by the Government’s social mobility tsar which implied girls do not study physics at A-level because they dislike “hard maths”.

Earlier this year, Katharine Birbalsingh said “physics isn’t something girls tend to fancy” and that “there’s a lot of hard maths in there that I think that they would rather not do”.

Ms Dodds said: “Does this minister agree with the tsar that physics isn’t something that girls tend to fancy, because there’s a lot of hard maths in there?

“If not, will she condemn those remarks and others, which put girls and women off careers in Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) because of, to use the Secretary of State’s words, soft bigotry and low expectations?”

Ms Donelan insisted that “on this side of the House we believe in free speech”, adding that it is the Government’s social mobility tsar’s “right to have a view”.

She went on: “But of course we want all people to aspire to go into the careers, including Stem.”

Ms Birbalsingh made the controversial remarks in April when speaking at a meeting of the Science and Technology Committee to discuss diversity in Stem.

She said: “Physics isn’t something girls tend to fancy – they don’t want to do it, they don’t like it. It wouldn’t be something here that they don’t choose because they feel it’s not for them, that would certainly not be the case, and it wouldn’t be the case here that they wouldn’t choose it because they didn’t have a good physics teacher.

“I just think they don’t like it. There’s a lot of hard maths in there that I think that they would rather not do, and that’s not to say that there isn’t hard stuff to do in biology and chemistry.”