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Nurses’ pay is a good example of how the fight for equality has a long way to go

08 February, 2018

• I’VE heard from many nurses who strongly feel part of the reason why, despite the huge public support for paying them a decent wage, they are not getting this is because they are women and “women’s work” is not valued in the same way as a man’s.

Over 90 per cent of nurses are women. Nursing requires great A-levels and a degree. There is no logical reason why the profession should be this badly paid.

I wonder if the attitude that men need to be paid more because they have to provide is still prevalent in the higher ranks of the Conservative government and influencing public policy?

This philosophy was once used against me when I questioned why I wasn’t getting the same pay rise as my male colleague for equal work.

Valuing women’s work less than a man’s creates real social problems because we are taught to value women less, treat them with less respect and this contributes to the phenomenon of male violence and sexual abuse.

It is a disgrace that this Conservative government is not paying our nurses enough, and I fear an unpalatable philosophy of sexism is the reason.

We must think about the wider consequences undervaluing women in the workplace has and the message this sends to society about how women should be treated.

We have come a long way since allowing affluent women the vote, but we still have so much to fight for before we can honestly say women are afforded the same respect as men.

REBECCA SHIRAZI
Labour candidate for Frognal & Fitzjohns ward

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