So Theresa May on Womanâ€™s Hour 14 September 2011 is promising to address women and womenâ€™s issues. She who abolished the one body that made sure the government engages with the voices of women, The Womenâ€™s National Commission; she who refuses to enforce mandatory pay audits so that companies disclose patterns of pay â€“ without which equal pay become inconceivable; she who refuses to modernise the equal pay legislation and proposes instead voluntary action -Â without the Equal Pay Act introduced by Barbara Castle in 1969 there would have been no significant action on the gender pay gap; equal pay has stalled, the gender pay gap is growing.
She who Â disabled the equality duties introduced in the dog days of the last Labour government. There will be no significant progress to budge the gender pay gap.
There is no doubt that Mayâ€™s commitment to improving outcomes for women suffering secxual violence has been a lifeline to rape crisis centres.
Where the oppression of women converges with law and order Tories tend to be braver than when womenâ€™s oppression impinges on political economy.
And we know that Theresa May knows the implications ofÂ legal equality duties, the possibility that they may actually make a difference: sheÂ warned government departments in 2010 that they had not implemented their legal duties. Clearly she understood that had Â the coalition deficit reduction strategy been disciplined by the equality duties then the cuts could not have scythed through womenâ€™s socio-economic wellbeing.
Yvette Cooperâ€™s brilliant arithmetic revealed that around three quarters of the deficit reduction costs would fall to women, and only around a quarter would fall on men. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/jul/04/women-budget-cuts-yvette-cooper
It made no difference. They ignored their statutory duties.
Fawcett Society undertook a judicial review. It failed. It made no difference.
So, when we listen to Theresa Mayâ€™s claims that women are in the coalitionâ€™s mind we know that they intend to make no difference.