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Last Updated: Friday, 30 December 2005, 12:50 GMT
The growing wealth of women
Women walking through a door looking happy
In 2004, 70% of women aged 16 to 64 were reported to be in work

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 31 December, 2005, at 1204 GMT.

In a special programme, Money Box looked at women and finance.

Within 20 years women will control 60% of the personal wealth in the UK, claimed research published earlier this year.

There are also 24% more women millionaires under the age of 44 than men, the report added.

As more women attain success in education and the workplace, the outlook for women's financial health appears better than ever.

We spoke to the report's author Doug MacWilliam of the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

And to discuss the challenges of setting up in business as a woman, we spoke to Elaine Fairfax, Managing Director of Animal Friends Pet Insurance and winner of the 2005 NatWest Businesswoman of the Year Award.

Further information:

Women-targeted financial products

A woman scrapping snow and ice off her car
Esure found women claim less and have far fewer driving convictions
Financial service providers are keen to tap into this new market of affluent women consumers.

Sheila's Wheels car insurance is the latest high profile launch by a mainstream provider targeting women.

Meanwhile, in Germany the first bank targeted specifically at women has just been launched.

But are these projects just marketing hype or do they offer genuine benefits? And what other women-only products could be on the way?

Bob Howard reported.

Further information:

Women's pensions

Two ladies
Many women miss out on a full state pension
Reform of women's pensions is one of the proposals of the Turner Report most likely to be taken up by government.

Traditionally, women have fared badly when it comes to pensions due to their caring responsibilities.

We discussed the problems facing retired women and the possible solutions with Malcolm McLean of the Pensions Advisory Service and independent pensions consultant Ros Altman.

Further information:

New scheme to help childcare costs

Children on a tyre
Childcare costs up to 25% more in London than the rest of England
A nursery school place costs on average 7,000 a year, new research has shown.

In London it is even more expensive, and one in five nursery places there is vacant with high costs blamed.

A new scheme has recently been launched to try to address the problem.

Louise Greenwood reported on the Childcare Affordability Programme.

And we spoke to Daniella Reale of the Daycare Trust about the problems of paying for quality childcare.

Further information:

Presenter: Paul Lewis
Producer: Louise Greenwood
Reporter: Bob Howard

Money Box



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