As Rishi Sunak replaces Liz Truss as the next Prime Minister, we look again at the open letter Nami, one of our Advisory Panel members, wrote to the candidates in the leadership race, asking them to tackle the unfairness young women face every day.
I am part of a group of young women working with Young Women’s Trust to help young women living on low or no pay.
As you make your case to be the next Prime Minister, I would like to invite you to think about what young women need to tackle the unfairness we face every day, so we can make the most of our skills and talents.
Living on low pay
I am a young, black immigrant woman who, despite living in this country since I was 9, is unable to access public funds so I can educate and upskill myself. Because of this, I have lived on low pay my entire adult life.
I have been fortunate enough to get a job, but with prices rising I still need to dip into my savings to afford necessities like food and feminine hygiene products.
There have been moments when I have had to choose between having dinner or being able to afford to travel to work. I have had to put myself at risk, walking to a warehouse shift at 3am because I could not afford a taxi and the buses were not working.
Being forced to chose between your safety and rent is a position no one should ever be in.
Over the last year, it has gotten worse. I have been fortunate enough to get a job, but with prices rising I still need to dip into my savings to afford necessities like food and feminine hygiene products.
With each withdrawal, I am taking away from my future security.
Expensive childcare is a barrier to work
There are thousands of young women like me who have their challenges. I have friends who are single mothers and regularly need to borrow money to cover the shortfall from their benefits and low paid jobs. Some women can’t afford to work because childcare is too expensive. Others can’t find a flexible job to fit around their caring responsibilities. And those who have a job but do not get the support they need to progress and live out their hopes and dreams. There are so many different stories, but all we want is a fair chance.
We need your support to remove these systemic barriers and give us an equal chance of succeeding in life.
We can tell you what a fair world for young women could look like and we hope you will make a difference as Prime Minister.
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