Female workers in the UK may bear the brunt of redundancies during the ongoing recession, it has been suggested.
Speaking to the Guardian, communities secretary Hazel Blears said that the early signs suggest that women are experiencing greater economic hardship than men.
She said: "They may be the first to lose their jobs, but conversely they may have to take on more work - an extra job or longer hours - to make up for a male breadwinner who loses his job. Women's roles must be at the heart of policymaking."
During a recent meeting of the government's economic cabinet, some ministers called on the Labour administration to give greater focus to women in terms of government spending.
However, an aide to the Department of Work and Pensions said that there is not as yet statistical evidence that female employees are being targeted for redundancy to a greater extent that men.
Recently, women's minister Harriet Harman warned firms against unfairly discriminating against female employees when selecting targets for redundancies, pointing out that such actions are illegal.