Women's Week: Female readers from Suffolk and Essex reveal their top worries
PUBLISHED: 12:30 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:24 08 January 2020
Feeling safe on the streets, career prospects and retirement plans are among the top concerns for women in Suffolk and Essex, a survey reveals.
Reporter Gemma Mitchell asked female readers to share their views about the issues most important to them for the EADT's Women's Week.
Natasha, 24, Kesgrave
The lack of jobs available and the lack of careers available too.
Gemma Grace, 29, Ipswich
Support for women on the autistic spectrum for employment.
Louise, 30, Ipswich
Safety for my children.
Georgia Norton, 23, Colchester
Walking alone, infertility, career opportunities, ageing.
Martha Schwager, 66, Felixstowe
National Health Service.
Elma Glasgow, 45, Ipswich
Financial security and health.
Willa Cromwell, 39, Southwold
Providing for everyone - staff, clients, family, community - in a way that doesn't make them feel it's an effort on my part.
My business' success, resilience and reputation.
Staying positive and focused, and keeping everyone else in a positive frame of mind, when under onslaught from people, politics, budgets and world events.
Ensuring that I keep myself healthy and fit to be resilient for the work I need to do, with limited time and occasionally flagging energy.
The risks attached to the current political climate.
The urgent need to define what it is to be human, and why it must be cherished, as digital takes on more and more of our work.
The rise of taking umbrage and reduction of old-fashioned human kindness in society.
My mother's happiness.
Doing everything I can to support my son's development through childhood into happy and contributory adult life.
My stepdaughter's future, and wishing I'd been able to help her more.
Occasionally remembering that I'm a wife!
Ageing, and seeing it as a positive.
Staying well groomed for more than half an hour before I descend back into scruffiness.
Jo, over 50, Lowestoft
Education, especially the way Suffolk County Council is failing our SEN children, our schools have lower funding than other areas. Mainstream schools being forced to focus on SATs results over mental health and happiness.
Jobs and wages, every company should be aiming to pay the National Living Wage not Minimum Wage. Zero hours contracts should be banned. Protect workers' rights when we come out of Europe. Brexit - the effect on our county, both financially and emotionally as hate crimes rise.
Health - the privatisation of the NHS and how the Tories are killing it and taking us back to Victorian times.
Universal Credit. Leaving vulnerable people without money for six weeks, sanctions for no reason, how it will affect the self-employed.
Rise of the far-right and their hatred. The right-wing media whipping up hysteria.
Katie Mercer, 30, Chelmondiston
Becky, 40, Ipswich
My son's future.
Vicky, 44, Bury St Edmunds
Work life balance for working women. We end up having to do the running of the home and work long hours too!
Jill Geaney, 51, Stowmarket
Lack of aspiration in young women. Lack of aspirations for young girls and young ladies by their parents. Lack of gender-specific teaching methods in schools so that neither gender benefits as much as they could.
Margaret, 63, Kesgrave
Having no state pension for another two-and-a-half years, having no job but not being eligible for any benefits.
Lucy Jackson, 44, Glemsford
Little street lighting and what we have is so dim. I don't go out after dark for that reason.
Wendy Black, 58, Polstead
Not having a pension until I am 66 and having enough to have a good retirement.
Megan, 22, Ipswich
My appearance and weight; having enough time to do everything I want to do in life.
Not having a life plan figured out/figuring one out and not being able to stick to it.
Being good enough - in work, friendships, relationships; my health and my families health.
Irene Wragg, 66, Ipswich
Safety, health care, growing old - mobility, money, frailty.
Abi, 31, Barham
Being approached from behind when with my children.
Hazel, 34, Ipswich
I would love to start a family however that will mean taking a pause in my career as a teacher. I can choose to have a family or promotion to have a better wage. It is no coincidence that 90% of management where I work is male. However, with cost of living rising and having received a pay rise of just 1% in the past seven years I can't afford to take that break, as even now it's a struggle month to month. Essentially it's going to be a choice to start a family or survival.
Lynne Mortimer, 62, Ipswich
The way gains made over the last century are being eroded by the acceptance of sex discrimination (against women) in some educational establishments; by forced marriage; by poverty; by low pay; by pension age changes that have unfairly penalised women; by the continuing inequalities that prevail in many parts of the world - not being allowed to drive; being punished for being raped. I am concerned more today than at any time in the last 50 years.
Jenny, 43, Worlingworth
Online objectification of women.
Katy, 33, Ipswich
Money, not having children, work.
Rebecca, 35, Butley
Pay inequalities and cost of child care. It's not worth me working as 95% of my wages will pay for childcare. I'm working in a professional role and am degree qualified. My husband works three hours more a week, earns more and has no professional qualifications.
Tilly, 19, Stanton
Being catcalled/harassed and/or attacked on the street.
Caroline Page, 59, Woodbridge
The future for children - and most particularly my disabled daughter - in a post-Brexit Britain with crippling constraints on the NHS, increasing cuts in social services; and the rising gap between rich and poor.
Charlotte, 32, Kesgrave
Personal safety when out even during the day.
Julie, 56, Mendlesham
Marie, 39, Ipswich
Health and wellbeing. Family finances and realistic solutions/tips.
Isabella Carr, 53, Langham
The environment, locally and globally - overcrowding of towns/urban growth, traffic and pollution levels.
Kerri, 32, Martlesham
Being able to do it all without cracking up. The career, the kids, the house. It's still all on women but we have to pay half of the bills now too!
Mary, 47, Felixstowe
Trump, inequality, May, period poverty, food banks, Brexit.
Mischa Pearson, 31, Ipswich
Aside of the impending threat of climate change, raising my son well in the current cultural climate and with a total absence of another parent is my biggest challenge. My role is complex and intense and requires commitment, energy and focus. Being a parent is the most important job I will ever undertake, and I'm acutely aware that my son will one day be a man, and how he responds to those around him, particularly his partners and female co-workers, will be vastly affected by the principles I lay out for him in his formative childhood. Teaching equality without hypocrisy has altered a number of my own previously indoctrinated behaviours from my own childhood which only compounds my belief that as a mother, we hold a fundamental responsibility to do the best we can and not just follow a cultural paradigm set up to fail.
Rebecca, 36, Ipswich
Future for my children especially my eldest who has autism. No local appropriate school etc.
Ruth, 41, Bury St Edmunds
Sarah, 63, Ipswich
My safety on the streets, particularly after dark.
Elizabeth, 61, Ipswich
Walking at night with no street lights and the increase in violence in Ipswich.
Lesley Bensley, 60, Marlesford
Increased inequality between rich and poor, lack of ambition in women moving into IT and science (numbers have gone down since mid-80s), Britain becoming meaner and small minded.
Carrie Coleman, 54, Ipswich
Managing my bills.
Audrey Ludwig, 52, Ipswich
Continued availability of employment opportunities; cost of living; health services; availability of care for elderly parents.