Skip to main content

Cleaner, Baker, Homemaker: Why are Women Still at a Financial Disadvantage?

by AJ Craig

In a year where the achievements of women are splashed across headlines and gender equality is now interpreted as a ‘non-issue’ by most, why are women still not being paid their worth?


According to the average living cost for a single person living in London is just under £920 per month. And according to Statistica, as of late 2022, there is a difference of £5,576 between the salaries of men and woman, with the latter coming up short.

And that’s not all, 2023 government reports still show that the gap is most definitely wide, with 9.4% being the median between both public and private sectors gender pay. Public occupations include emergency service and NHS workers, teachers and council workers whereas private sector jobs include domestic service providers, consumer goods providers and hospitality.


Occupations such as cleaners, childcare and teaching as well as nursing are still heavily female dominated. In the past year alone, all three professions have been at the centre of individual and combined strikes over pay disputes. An argument can be made for underfunding in these sectors yet male counterparts are still earning more, despite alleged underfunding.  

The short term effects of gender pay differences include women being more likely to use social financial benefits to subsidise lower income, higher risk of single mother family poverty and higher use of other living subsidiaries such as food banks. These most immediate effects are already unacceptable but longer term effects of lower earnings mean that come retirement and the end of working life, women are more likely to receive lower pension rates and financial benefits compared to men.

Even after being largely aware of the term ‘gender pay gap’ for a long period of time, it may still be hard to understand why exactly it occurs. And the answer as to why is something that has hindered the progress of women for even longer; systemic inequality.

The influence of patriarchal pressure and gender norms projected onto us from birth often sways the occupations that are chosen by men and women. Alternate factors such as the need to establish a family and to marry can also be traced back to gender norms and societal pressures. These expectations then push women further away from career and closer to domestic roles, eventually relying on the finances of a male partner.

And, unfortunately, the attitude and dispute over gender pay trickle down to the younger generation too. In a recently re-emerged 2016 Jimmy Kimmel clip, several children are asked why they think women are paid less then men in which a male child replies ‘because men work harder [because] my dad is a real estate agent’. Less than a second later, a young girl responds to the question with ‘ ... men make all the decisions and make all of the rules’. 

When quizzed further about if this would change if the country had a female head of state, the child replies hopefully, ‘Yes, I hope so. Maybe a little bit’.

Most Popular

‘Make Tattooing Safe Again’: Sheffield Based Tattoo Artist Exposed for Indecent Behaviour

 by Emily Fletcher TW: SA, Animal Abuse, Transphobia Photo Credit: @ meiko_akiz uki Recently, an  Instagram account  has been created to provide a  ‘space to safely give a voice to those who want to speak out about the behaviour of one, Sheffield based tattoo artist’. A  total of 40+ posts have been made by the above social media account regarding  one of Sheffield's most popular tattoo artists .  Thankfully, all posts are prefaced with a Content Warning prior to sharing screenshots of the messages that have been sent anonymously to the page. The majority of Content Warnings refer to sexual behaviour, abuse, and sexual assault. It is clear that there is a reoccurring theme within each submission, as many clients appear to have had the same experiences with the tattoo artist. Women, mostly, are being made to feel uncomfortable while being tattooed. One of the most vulnerable positions anyone can be in, tattoo artists should make their clients feel comfortable and safe during the pro

Now What? The Aftermath of the 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl'

by Susan Moore Here is a bit about me: I am an open, excitable, creative AFAB who is also moderately attractive. I have a unique sense of personal style and a personality that on the surface can only be described as “bubbly” and “quirky”. For this reason, dating is a nightmare. To be sure, I do not have a hard time finding dates or potential suitors. The problems arise when said dates spend some time with me and decide that I am a rare specimen, and the connection they feel with me is “unlike anything they have felt before”. Then, things go one of two ways.  Either a) they decide I am too high maintenance and no longer palatable, or  b) they choose to never look further than the surface and are content to date the idea of me rather than the real me. There is something rather interesting, perhaps funny, about my situation. It is in no way unique. I have met so many people who constantly dealt with the same problem. Even funnier still, is the fact that there is a trope that simultaneousl

Eurydice’s Last Words

by Kate Bradley I do not want to return To sit in the stalls, Of an empty black box Strewn with petals Leave the ghost light on, Let it shine like a call home, But I will not come back To turn it off alone. I learn this as we walk Our ever so solemn path Our thudding funeral march, You think we’re going back. As I trace my old steps, I fear of the day When the symphony swells, And I land my gaze On you, yet you will be Enraptured by the sound, If you did twist To turn around, You would not see me. So I am not sorry, I speak out into the empty air And I am not sorry. “Turn Around.” You do, you look You think  I fall But I run on, Arms wide open To fall in love With it all “Perhaps she was the one who said, ‘Turn around.” On the X45 bus, back from the Tyneside Cinema, I wrote a poem entitled “Eurydice’s Final Words”, after having seen “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”.  That poem was terrible, so I wrote a new one, as my response to the beautifully poignant film.  In one scene, Héloïse, an 18