British Politics

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 162–180 | Cite as

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

  • Anna SandersEmail author
  • Claire Annesley
  • Francesca Gains
Original Article


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.


Agenda setting Gender equality policies Austerity Policy change 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Sanders
    • 1
    Email author
  • Claire Annesley
    • 2
  • Francesca Gains
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Social SciencesUniversity of ManchesterManchesterEngland, UK
  2. 2.School of Law, Politics and SociologyUniversity of SussexBrightonEngland, UK

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