The direction of gender equality policy in Britain post-Brexit: towards a masculinised Westminster model

Anna Leslie Sanders, Joanna Flavell

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This article examines gender equality policy in Britain, pre-and post-Brexit. Through a gendered analysis of European Union (EU) directives over forty years, we examine which policies have been key to Britain’s gender equality agenda. We find that the EU’s gender equality framework has been particularly integral to the advancement of ‘class-based’ policies, which seek to ameliorate inequalities that arise from the sexual division of labour. Taken together, we argue that the impact of Brexit risks directly rolling back these class-based gains. This is as a result of a shift away from a more consensual style of policymaking at the supranational level, towards a top-down, adversarial and masculinised Westminster Model, which marginalises women from decision-making fora. As it stands, advancements in gender equality policies are unlikely to be regained in the current political climate due to the absence of the stimulus of the EU for domestic gender equality reform.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2023

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