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Committee supports ways to tackle gender inequality

The Council’s Anti-Poverty and Inequality Committee today agreed a range of measures to tackle gender inequality.

Members considered research by Poverty Alliance and Scottish Women’s Budget Group, which highlighted key findings such as women being more likely to be poor due to lower levels of savings and wealth and are less able to find work or increase their hours often due to caring responsibilities.

Ways to combat this include working to ensure automatic enrolment in initiatives such as free school meals to ensure entitled uptake, and how the council’s Financial Inclusion team has been successful in securing additional funding to increase the size of the team and the services that can be provided.

The committee also agreed to explore ways of establishing a Citizens’ Assembly – comprising randomly-selected community representatives – with the first remit being to advise the council on what’s needed to tackle gender inequality in Aberdeen. 

Committee convener Councillor Christian Allard said: “The council is committed to developing innovative approaches to tackling poverty, especially where it results from gender inequalities.

“It remains particularly important that we work closely with our partners such as the NHS to achieve our common goals.”

Committee vice-convener Councillor Desmond Bouse said: “It is vital as a council we continue to support women in the complex challenges they are facing as we navigate our way through the current cost-of-living crisis.”

The council is working with the NHS and wider partners to look at the links between fuel poverty, cold homes and ill-health and exploring the feasibility of training for front line staff to increase their awareness of fuel poverty.

It was also agreed by the committee that further work to promote awareness of the Scottish Welfare Fund and financial advice services will be undertaken.

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