Womens prospects at work still a long way from matching mens –

The women’s labour force participation rate worldwide stands at 48.5 per cent in 2018, 26.5 percentage points below that of their male counterparts, according to the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends for Women 2018 – Global snapshot, released Wednesday on the eve of International Women’s Day.The report, authored by the UN International Labour Organization (ILO), also shows that the global unemployment rate for women is six per cent for 2018, about 0.8 percentage points higher than that for men.Altogether, for every 10 men in a job, only six women are employed.“Despite the progress achieved and the commitments made to further improvement, women’s prospects in the world of work are still a long way from being equal to men’s,” said Deborah Greenfield, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policies.“Whether it is about access to employment, wage inequality or other forms of discrimination, we need to do more to reverse this persistent, unacceptable trend by putting in place policies tailored to women, also taking into account the unequal demands that they face in household and care responsibilities,” she added.In regions such as the Arab States and Northern Africa, female unemployment rates are still twice as large as men’s, with prevailing social norms continuing to obstruct women’s participation in paid employment.However, women in Eastern Europe and North America register lower unemployment rates than men.Women also face significant gaps in the quality of the employment they are in.  They are more than twice as likely to be contributing family workers. This means that they contribute to a market-oriented family business, but are often subject to vulnerable conditions of employment without written contracts, collective agreements and respect for labour legislation.As a result, women are still overrepresented in informal employment in developing countries.The report notes that globally, four times as many men are working as employers than women in 2018.  Women continue to face barriers in accessing management positions.“Closing gender gaps in the world of work thus should remain a top priority if we want to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030,” concluded Damian Grimshaw, Director of the ILO Research Department. read more

Duchess of Sussex could work with British theatres amid fears royal titles

Alex Clifton, artistic director of Storyhouse, which the Duchess of Sussex visited with the Queen during a visit to Chester in June, said yesterday that “any arts organisations would really benefit from having her on board as an advocate”.“As an artist and actor herself, she understands the practice and can speak with authority,” he said. “She’s an accessible, dynamic, modern-facing presence: it’s impossible to overstate the impact that someone with her authority can have on people’s lives. The National Theatre Rufus Norris, the artistic director of the National TheatreCredit:Brinkhoff/Moegenburg Prince Harry and Meghan meet the cast of musical  HamiltonCredit:Getty In the new year, she is due to announce her patronages, expected to name a number of organisations she will build a lifelong relationship with. The Queen and Duchess of Sussex visit Storyhouse, Chester At least one will be handed over to her by the Queen, it has been reported. Palace aides have previously emphasised how the Duchess has been at work behind the scenes, claiming she has been undertaking numerous and regular private meetings to establish how she could best make a difference to charities in Britain and the Commonwealth.Last week, the official record of the Royal Family’s work reported: “The Duchess of Sussex today received Mr Rufus Norris (Artistic Director, the National Theatre).”She is also known to have met with representative from the Campaign for Female Education, which works to empower young women in Africa, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities. The National Theatre The Duchess of Cambridge already holds patronages in the visual arts, at the V&A and National Portrait Gallery, while the Prince of Wales is the patron of the Georgian Theatre Royal, the Mariinsky Theatre Trust, the Theatre Royal Bath and Unicorn Theatre for Children.The Queen herself is patron of the Royal National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Theatre.Earlier this year, Rufus Norris suggested the National Theatre had deliberated eschewed the “Royal” from its title for fear of putting new audiences off. “This country is still very class divided and anything that adds to that perception, that this place is not open to everybody, could be a downfall,” he said. “I fear that for some people that [the ‘Royal’ prefix] adds to that perception.” When the heads of both the Royal National Theatre and Royal Opera House raised concerns about having the world “Royal” in their titles, it seemed the world of stage could be turning away from its association with the monarchy for fear of putting off new younger audiences.Not any more, it seems.News of a private meeting between the Duchess of Sussex and Rufus Norris, the artistic director of the National Theatre, has inspired hopes that the Duchess may take on a patronage in the theatre world, in a boost for the industry’s drive for inclusion.Doing so would mix the Duchess’ former career as an actress with her new role as a working royal, with directors saying her background could help bring in diverse new communities to arts organisations.Norris, who has been the director of the National Theatre since 2015, is a staunch advocate for broadening theatre audiences, pledging to increase diversity on stage and off as well as promising a 50-50 gender balance. The Duchess has twice undertaken public engagements relating to the theatre in the last month: attending the Royal Variety Performance with her husband, and making a solo visit to a care home for retired actors. Alex Beard, the chief executive of the Royal Opera House, shared similar sentiments in September, telling a newspaper that the “royals are by definition ‘other’” and that the use of the word could be “a bit off-putting”. Prince Harry and Meghan meet the cast of musical Hamilton Rufus Norris, the artistic director of the National Theatre The Queen and Duchess of Sussex visit Storyhouse, ChesterCredit:Reuters “As an industry we speak very easily and confidently to existing audiences. The challenge is to reach new, more diverse, more traditionally marginalised communities.“The Duchess provides extraordinary leverage into a massive range of communities. She’s a really powerful voice and can help any theatre achieve more of its mission, in terms of telling stories to as many and as broad a range of people as possible.”A spokesman for the National Theatre said they would not comment on private meetings. read more