Submission to the Women and Work APPG 2018

Our submission to the Women and Work All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) November 2018

“Since the publication of this article, Feminine Vitae has been invited to Parliament for the launch of the APPG ‘s toolkit of practical suggestions, hints, and tips for employers on Monday 28th January 2019Please find below an extract of our submission.

Socio-economic impact of reproductive health conditions

The impact of these conditions on women’s career progression and financial security remains under-recognised.

Despite a significant proportion of women in the UK being affected by reproductive health conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and fertility problems, the impact of these conditions on women’s career progression and financial security remains under-recognised. In light of this, Feminine Vitae submitted recommendations to the Women and Work APPG on what can be done to improve the working lives of women. These recommendations are in line with the UK’s commitment to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined by the United Nations.

1st recommendation

Our first recommendation is that a research group should be formed to identify the best practices and policies to support women affected by reproductive health conditions in the workplace. As Public Health England reported ‘reproductive health is a public health issue with far-reaching impacts’, including ‘economic impacts through lost hours of work’, this indicates a need to examine the different ways in which employers can support their staff to enable them to improve their productivity.

2nd recommendation

In addition to this, our second recommendation is that reproductive health conditions and the severity of their impact on the quality of life and financial security of working women should be investigated. Productivity at work is often affected by these conditions, as women often need to take time off work for surgical interventions and to attend medical appointments. Often these women do not meet the criteria for disability benefit, and so women are left to cope with the financial loss. Because of this, the formation of a working group to investigate how to ensure financial security for these women and lessen of the economic impact of these conditions would be imperative.

Our belief is that through these recommendations, the working lives of women with reproductive health issues can be improved drastically, leading to a better overall quality of life.

Authors

Dr Lala Ireland

Dr Sarah-Jane Brown

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