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You might have been under the impression that York was a progressive city moving towards equality for all its citizens.

Think again.

On International Women’s Day (March 8), shocking new figures came to light which show that inequality in York is widening, and fast.

Last year women were paid on average £85 less per week than men in the city.

And this year that pay gap has jumped – York women get £120 less per week than male workers.

You read that right: £120 less per week.

That puts us well ahead of the average pay gap in Britain of £100 gross weekly pay. Which is a pretty terrible figure in itself.

‘Astonishing rise’

The disheartening statistics were revealed in a report to City of York Council’s economic committee meeting on Wednesday (March 8).

Labour councillor for Clifton Danny Myers asked at the meeting that the council

  1. recognises the “astonishing rise” in the gender pay gap in York over the past year
  2. develops policies to reverse the trend.

Cllr Danny Myers. Photograph: Cllr Myers / Twitter

He said that the weekly pay gap in 2011 was £53.90 which means it has more than doubled in the past six years.

Cllr Myers said:

We need to take a serious look at what is driving a low wage economy here in York more than other parts of the UK and act.

These low wages disproportionately impact women.

The council has to look at the implications for women locally of both its own, as well as the Government’s, decisions – and look to develop economic policies that stop the hammer falling on women’s take-home pay.

You can read the full report here (PDF).