The Queen’s speech has outlined the government’s plans to make “further progress to tackle the gender pay gap.”
The Queen, upon announcing the government’s agenda for the coming year, said, “My government will make further progress to tackle the gender pay gap and discrimination against people on the basis of their race, faith, gender, disability or sexual orientation.”
The speech, at the heart of the State Opening of Parliament ceremony, lists the laws that the current government hopes to pass through Parliament. The speech is written by government ministers and takes place in the House of Lords.
Although this year’s speech mainly focused on Brexit, with eight of the bills related to the UK leaving Europe, the speech did outline some other main manifesto plans.
A proposal for a Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill, which would establish a Domestic Violence and Abuse Commissioner to stand up for victims and survivors and monitor the response of the authorities, was put forward.
During the speech, the Queen also spoke about plans to increase the National Living Wage and plans to “enhance the rights and protections in the modern workplace.”
The government will also focus on skills and “ensuring people have the skills they need for the high-skilled, high-wage jobs of the future, including through a major reform of technical education.”
However, the speech has faced some criticisms. Writing for The Huffington Post, Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party said, “After one of the most polarised elections in living memory; as frightened men attack us on the streets and Grenfell Tower stands as a charred monument to poverty and inequality, the Conservative Party has decided that the way forward for this country lies in getting as far away from it as possible.”
“Inserting space travel into the Queen’s Speech might seem surprising.”
“But really it’s just the next extension of already-creaky infrastructure investment deployed by successive Chancellors trying to boost the economy.”
“…If we really want to shoot for the stars, there’s another way.”
“The trajectory is shorter and clearer and the rewards far greater.”
“Equality for women would straighten out our lopsided, spluttering economy.”
“It would drive our productivity.”
“And it would ease the cohesion of our fractured, failing society.”