Members' area: Sign in or join Engender

Gender Matters in Social Security

Women’s and equalities organisations are very concerned about plans to pay Universal Credit to households, not individuals, which undermine women’s financial independence, safety and equality. You can find out more about this, and other issues related to social security and women's equality, in our report here.

The Scottish Government has been consulting on the changes to the social security system, and we were so pleased that so many women and equalities organisations responded to the consultation echoing our calls. We have responded to the Scottish Parliament consultation on the Social Security (Scotland) Bill, and are closely following the progress of the Bill through parliament. Recently, we wrote to the Social Security Committee to reaffirm our support for splitting the Universal Credit payment between members of a household, and highlighted the near-unanimous consensus on this issue by respondents to the consultation process.

There are several other issues of concern around social security in Scotland and in the UK, including the 'family cap' which limits child benefit and tax credits to two children, and the 'rape clause' which forces women to disclose whether children were conceived as a result of rape or coercive control. You can find out more about both of these issues here.

If you want to stay up to date with our work for women's equality in social security, sign up here:


See a gallery of some key figures and quotes relating to women and social security below:

86% of cuts to social security have come from women's incomes<br/><a href="gallery/gender-matters-social-securit/17/add/#comments">Add comment</a>
Quotes from women at 'Fairer Scotland' consultation when told about proposed changes to Universal Credit payments<br/><a href="gallery/gender-matters-social-securit/18/add/#comments">Add comment</a>
Quote from a woman at the North West Women's Centre<br/><a href="gallery/gender-matters-social-securit/19/add/#comments">Add comment</a>
£4,000 annual loss of income for women lone parents by 2020<br/><a href="gallery/gender-matters-social-securit/20/add/#comments">Add comment</a>
£1.5bn cumulative cuts to maternity benefits<br/><a href="gallery/gender-matters-social-securit/21/add/#comments">Add comment</a>
60% of Scotland's paid workforce living in poverty are women<br/><a href="gallery/gender-matters-social-securit/22/add/#comments">Add comment</a>
66% of Scotland's unpaid carers are women<br/><a href="gallery/gender-matters-social-securit/23/add/#comments">Add comment</a>
Women are twice as dependent on social security as men<br/><a href="gallery/gender-matters-social-securit/24/add/#comments">Add comment</a>
Women are twice as likely to give up paid work to care as men<br/><a href="gallery/gender-matters-social-securit/25/add/#comments">Add comment</a>

Click here to
join Engender

Mailing list

To join our email list, simply enter your email address below.

Related publications

Engender Parliamentary Briefing: Child Tax Credit and Child Element of Universal Credit ('Family Cap') DebateEngender Parliamentary Briefing: Child Tax Credit and Child Element of Universal Credit ('Family Cap') Debate Engender's briefing in advance of the Scottish Parliament debate on Child Tax Credit and Child Element of Universal Credit (known as the 'family cap', and including the so-called 'rape clause').

Engender Response to Scottish Government Consultation on Social Security in ScotlandEngender Response to Scottish Government Consultation on Social Security in Scotland Engender welcomes this opportunity to respond to the Scottish Government’s consultation on social security in Scotland.

Engender Response to the Budget Process Review Group ConsultationEngender Response to the Budget Process Review Group Consultation Engender welcomes this opportunity to submit our views to the Budget Process Review Group.

Engender Submission to the Scottish Parliament Social Security Committee Call for Evidence on the Child Poverty (Scotland) BillEngender Submission to the Scottish Parliament Social Security Committee Call for Evidence on the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill Engender welcomes the introduction of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill, which ambitiously sets targets to eradicate child poverty by 2030.

Engender Submission to the Scottish Parliament Social Security Committee on the Social Security (Scotland) BillEngender Submission to the Scottish Parliament Social Security Committee on the Social Security (Scotland) Bill Engender welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Committee’s call for views.

Gender Matters in Social Security: Individual Payments of Universal CreditGender Matters in Social Security: Individual Payments of Universal Credit A paper calling on the Scottish Government to automatically split payments of Universal Credit between couples, once this power is devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

Joint Response to the UK Government Work and Pensions Committee Short Inquiry into the Impact of the Universal Credit Household PaymentJoint Response to the UK Government Work and Pensions Committee Short Inquiry into the Impact of the Universal Credit Household Payment Since 2010, the UK Government has pursued an austerity agenda and programme of ‘welfare reform’ which will result in a total of £82 billion of cuts to the social security budget by 2020.

Securing Women's Futures: Summary of RecommendationsSecuring Women's Futures: Summary of Recommendations A summary of recommendations from 'Securing Women's Futures: Using Scotland's New Social Security Powers to Close the Gender Equality Gap'.

Securing Women's Futures: Using Scotland's New Social Security Powers to Close the Gender Equality GapSecuring Women's Futures: Using Scotland's New Social Security Powers to Close the Gender Equality Gap This joint report from Engender, Close the Gap, Scottish Women's Aid, the Scottish Refugee Council and Carer Scotland summarises why and how women are affected by social security policy and sets out ways in which new powers can be engaged to increase women’s equality in Scotland.

Social Security Consultation Focus Groups - Report A report of eight focus groups run by Engender, Scottish Women's Aid, Carers Scotland and the Scottish Refugee Council, to contribute to the Scottish Government consultation on social security.

Social Security Consultation Focus Groups - ReportSocial Security Consultation Focus Groups - Report A report of eight focus groups run by Engender, Scottish Women's Aid, Carers Scotland and the Scottish Refugee Council, to contribute to the Scottish Government consultation on social security.

Latest tweets

Follow @EngenderScot

Loading