Social Justice and Gender Equality – WFRC gets to grips with big political issues

Members of the Work Futures Research Centre joined forces with the Sustainability Science at Southampton multidisciplinary research group at the University of Southampton to mark the UN World Day of Social Justice on 20th February.


The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s message for the day was “let us intensify our efforts to achieve a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable development path built on dialogue, transparency and social justice” and we took this to heart in our public seminar with Duncan C Campbell, Director for Policy Planning in Employment at the International Labour Office and a Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labour, IZA.

Duncan’s seminar presentation examined the old and new features of labour markets in developing countries. A passionate speaker on the topic of inequality, Duncan reviewed the all too depressing statistics about vulnerable labour and global poverty. The stark message to a room full of academic staff and students in Southampton was that some 85% of the world’s population – estimated in 2010 as between 1.48 and 1.59 billion people – have no formal work arrangements – and suffer irregular employment, no contracts, inadequate pay and dangerous work conditions. As an economist by training Duncan’s talk necessarily explored the macro economics of these labour patterns, but he was also keen to explore the social impacts too – looking at the damage of injustice across developed and developing world contexts.

Having been fired up to think about globalisation and injustice in the context of work, WFRC now turns our attention and passions to matters ‘at home’ as we plan our symposium to debate Gender Equality at Work on Thursday 7 March 2013 | 2.00pm–4.00pm | Thatcher Room, Portcullis House, Westminster.

WFRC Directors Professor Susan Halford and Professor Pauline Leonard of the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, University of Southampton will facilitate a Panel Discussion with Alan Whitehead (Labour MP for Southampton Test), Baroness Margaret Prosser (Deputy Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission), Samantha Mangwana (Principal Lawyer for Slater & Gordon Lawyers), Evangelia Bourmpoula (Economist for the International Labour Organisation), Helen Sachdev (Director of UK Strategy, Retail and Business Banking at Barclays Bank) and Lynne Berry OBE (Deputy Chair of the Canal and River Trust and Director of Public Benefit). We hope that these talks will provide inspiration and encouragement ahead of International Women’s Day on 8th March.

Further information:

Duncan Campbell Power Point Slides can be found at:

To register to Gender Equality at Work symposium at:

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