Brexit is one of the greatest threats to women's rights: Study

ANI | Updated: Jan 26, 2018 14:41 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Jan. 26 (ANI): According to a recent study, Brexit, which is the prospective withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, may pose one the greatest threats to women's rights and social inclusion.

Researchers from the University of Surrey and the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, investigated the potential impact of Brexit on gender equality in the UK and examined the country's previous voting record in the Council of the European Union on such issues.

Professor Roberta Guerrina from the University of Surrey said, "Brexit poses the greatest modern day threat to women's rights and gender equality policies in the UK."

"European legislation affords a degree of protection to women in the UK, but once we leave Europe there is no guarantee that the same levels of protection will remain intact", Guerrina added.

They found that gender equality in the UK is potentially at risk following the country's withdrawal from the European Union, as business interests have historically taken precedence over women's rights when negotiating terms with the EU.

Silence on this issue during ongoing Brexit discussions, which have focused mainly on trade and a recent vote against amendments to the European Withdrawal Bill that was aimed at safeguarding rights under the 2010 Equality Act, has led researchers to the conclusion that gender equality policies are likely to become watered down as a result.

The researchers explained that women's reproductive rights are particularly vulnerable to attack. As business production remains more valued than reproduction, the interests of business are likely to trump other fundamental principles such as equality in the workplace.

The research appears in the Journal of Social Policy and Society. (ANI)

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