Read our open letter to government

Support young women during the cost of living crisis #CostingOurFutures
Author Ire Adebayo

Dear Prime Minister,

Whilst the leadership of the country has been changing hands, young women like me have been battling with the cost-of-living crisis. I am writing to urge you to consider the experiences of young women and provide the support we need to help us get through this crisis and create a future where we can thrive and not just survive.

Polling from Young Women’s Trust shows that 62% of young women feel their future prospects have got worse over the past 6 months. This compares to only 19% who felt this way in spring this year, when the charity released their annual report. Interviews I have carried out as a peer researcher with Young Women’s Trust showed that in addition to struggling financially, many are facing discrimination when trying to access employment or opportunities to increase their wage. From being denied job opportunities due to appearance bias, to missing out on promotions they are more than qualified for due to age discrimination.

I have worked as a social care worker in Huddersfield for about seven years. Though rewarding, the work I do is well known for being demanding and underpaid. I suffer with anxiety and panic attacks and generally feel stuck in my career. Consequently, I am a living example of what ‘just getting by’ looks like.

But I am not an isolated case. With the cost of living increasing, many in my situation are forced to work overtime and clock-in extra hours to make enough money to live on or try to change career altogether. We’ve also had to radically change our lifestyle, including the quality and amount of food and essentials we buy.

It is having an impact now, but also putting our future at risk. Young women urgently need support and yet we do not dare to believe it will be forthcoming. More than half of us do not believe that your government will prioritise the issues that make a difference in our lives.

You have said you will look to support those most in need and, along with the other people who have signed this letter, I am asking you now to listen and let us know what plans you have to help us.

Will you meet with us so we can share more about how your government can help?

Ire Adebayo

Thank you to everyone who took action, over 3000 of you signed our open letter. We need the government to listen to young women, they deserve better.

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