What did the coalition government do for women? An analysis of gender equality policy agendas in the UK 2010–2015

Anna Leslie Sanders, Claire Annesley, Francesca Gains

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The UK Coalition era 2010–2015 was characterised as being detrimental to women. However, to date, research has not comprehensively examined the impact on gender equality of the Coalition’s policies in different policy domains. This paper examines policies that were introduced to address gender inequality and policies that had a detrimental impact on gender equality during the five years of Coalition Government. We draw on a typology of gender equality policies which categorises policies as either addressing the class or status basis of gender inequalities and scholarships that demonstrates that the determinants of policy change will vary depending upon which type of policy is brought forward. We find that numerous status-based gender equality policies reached the government agenda as well as some class-based policies. However, this agenda setting activity around gender equality needs to be set against the Coalition’s austerity policies, which removed significant provision for gender equality and set limits on the effectiveness of some new initiatives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-180
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Politics
Early online date3 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2019


  • Agenda setting
  • Gender equality policies
  • Austerity
  • Policy change

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