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Another year, another pay gap report. Let’s make 2017 the year of real change.

The Women’s Equality Party will put equal pay at the heart of politics in 2017 – the only party to prioritise investment in equal education and equality of care, as well as ending discriminatory workplace practices, to steer the country through a period of change and provide fair opportunities for all.

Responding to Wednesday’s report by the Resolution Foundation showing that the pay gap grows as women enter their 30s and 40s, the Women’s Equality Party underlined its plans for shared parental leave, affordable childcare, and equal vocational opportunities for girls in traditionally male-dominated sectors as the only serious solution.

“Closing the pay gap requires more than a regular audit,” said party leader Sophie Walker. “The uncertainty that we face in 2017 as the government goes into Brexit negotiations could be a real opportunity, with some creative thinking, to change the way we look at education and childcare and invest in gender equality as a motor for the economy.”

“The EU regulatory framework improved and protected women’s rights at work,” she said. “It is vital that women are at the table during discussions for how we enshrine these protections once we leave the EU and how we further ensure equal opportunities for women and men’s jobs as we look at future trade deals.”

Walker added: “Although the Resolution Foundation’s report shows the pay gap for some young women is closing, we know that too many young girls are encouraged via our education system into lower-paid caring, cleaning and catering work deemed suitable for their sex, with the result that Britain fails to fill vital skilled jobs and tap its full creative talents. We also know that the progress that is made by girls is reversed by the motherhood penalty. Our policies lay out a radical overhaul of work and caring roles so that mothers and fathers can enjoy equal opportunities at work and at home.“

The Women’s Equality Party is a key partner of the Women’s March on London on January 21st which will call for the protection and expansion of women’s rights, of which equal pay is one.

“I will be leading the line at the Women’s March,” Walker added. “The march is an act of solidarity with people here and in the US whose rights and protections are under threat following 2016’s crucial votes. It is time to say no more to inequalities of all kinds.”

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