Penny Mordaunt (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
THE UK government has launched a fund to help marginalised women, including those who speak little to no English and victims of domestic and economic abuse, to help them return to work.
The £500,000 fund, launched by secretary of state Penny Mordaunt on Thursday (7), will be available to organisations around England that provide employment opportunities to vulnerable women and those who can’t access public funds due to their immigration status.
Mordaunt said: “For too long, caring responsibilities, language barriers or the terrible impacts of domestic abuse have held many women back from having the freedom, support and choice to do what they want to do.
“I want all these women to be given the chance to reach their full potential, which is why we are investing in them to grow their skills and their confidence, so they feel ready to return to work when they want to.”
Mordaunt expressed hope that the move would help tap into previously ignored talent and also address gender inequality in the workplace.
In the UK, around 1.8 million women are currently economically inactive because they are caring for their home or family. This is more than eight times the number of men in that position. The two main reasons why women struggle are time out of work and fewer years of full-time work, according to studies.
Welcoming the steps to encourage women to get back into the workforce, work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd said a woman can never be truly free unless she has economic independence.
Rudd said: “Last year was a record breaking year for women’s employment with more in work than ever before. But for some women, economic empowerment remains the final frontier. Women can never be truly free until they have economic independence and I know there are still women out there who need extra support to help them overcome their personal barriers and find their way into a job they want.”
Last year, the government announced £1.5 million to get people with caring responsibilities back into work. A total of £489,050 has so far been awarded to five organisations.