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The Government is to set up a £600,000 fund to help disadvantaged women carers back to work.
The new fund, to be announced today by Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt will be open to organisations across England who will be able to bit for grants to help women who have experienced issues like homelessness, domestic abuse and mental health problems back into work through training, refreshing skills and facilitating work placements.
The pot of money includes £100,000 to support women facing multiple barriers – such as limited English language skills – to becoming more independent, including those who have never worked. The Government has signalled that areas of Blackburn, Bradford, Peterborough and Waltham Forest where work is being done to integrate different communities will be among those to benefit.
Mordaunt will say the policy marks a shift in the work of the Government Equalities Office, away from professional women towards more marginalised women. In a speech to conservative think tank Bright Blue’s Women in Work conference today, she will state:
“I will be shifting the focus of the GEO’s work to look at how we can help women who are economically inactive, women in low paid and low skilled jobs and women on legacy benefits – trapped into limiting their hours or income, and women facing multiple barriers to being independent.”
Earlier this week the GEO announced that it had commissioned new research on how rigid gender stereotypes – including being dominant and competitive – affect men and boys, including a focus on developing ways to change negative attitudes towards women.
The research will focus on understanding the best way to talk to men and boys about harmful stereotypes and is aimed at groups who work directly with men and boys, such as educators and community influencers.