Women are being disproportionately impacted by the UK's unemployment crisis, research suggests.
According to the latest labour market figures, there are more than one million unemployed women in the UK, the highest number in nearly 25 years.
Women made up two-thirds of the 48,000 workers who became unemployed in the final quarter of 2011.
Total UK unemployment is currently at 2.67 million or 8.4 per cent.
Anna Bird, acting chief executive of the Fawcett Society believes that these new figures should act as a "wake up call" to the government.
"Cuts are threatening women's equality, as jobs dry up, benefits are slashed and vital public services disappear," she said.
Some 700,000 public sector workers are expected to lose their jobs by 2015 and two-thirds of those are predicted to be women.
Ms Bird also notes that it is predominantly women who are shouldering the benefit cuts, as they are "picking up the pieces" of lost support services such as meals on wheels and after school clubs.
She described the unemployment crisis as turning back time on women's equality in the UK.
"Losing a job is devastating for anyone, man or woman. But women typically start off poorer, they tend to earn less, own less, and have less financial security than men.
"Taking away their jobs, while also cutting their benefits and cancelling the vital services that enable them to juggle jobs with families undermines women's ability to act independently, to provide for themselves, to be financially self reliant," Ms Bird said.
It is not only in terms of joblessness that women appear to be struggling more.
Under-employment – having to take part time, low paid employment because full time jobs are unavailable – is also dominated by female staff.
There are 7.87 million UK adults in part-time employment and 5.68 million of them are women.
For some women, this will be out of choice, perhaps in order to spend more time in the home with children.
Others however, will be simply unable to either find full-time work or afford full-time childcare.
Posted by Fiona Tench
New £5.9m scheme unveiled for cash-strapped Londoners
Money worries take toll on nation's pet owners
Protect children's futures with Junior ISA
Fuel poverty remains 'one of the biggest social issues'
Britons must discuss money matters with a partner