“The Tories’ fresh round of austerity will hit women hard, as we already have a gender pay gap and pensions gap – and many women work in public services, facing new cuts after years of underinvestment.”
By Labour Women Leading
The last few years have seen women’s lives dramatically affected by the Covid 19 pandemic – in addition to those who tragically lost their lives and those affected by long Covid, there was a staggering increase in domestic violence and abuse, and many women had to reduce or leave paid employment to look after children.
The Tories’ fresh round of austerity will hit women hard, as we already have a gender pay gap and pensions gap – and many women work in public services, facing new cuts after years of underinvestment.
Amidst this, women have been fighting for a better deal at home, at work and in communities. We are taking industrial action, are campaigning for safer streets and for the right to go where we want without harassment, and are building practical solidarity in foodbanks, Mutual Aid and community centres.
Women are an important demographic whose vote cannot be taken for granted and it is vital that the Labour Party understands not only the problems women face, but the solutions that we need to see – council housing, decent pay of at least £15ph, free school meals and more.
Additionally, the Forde report highlighted issues within the party of misogyny and the need to have a culture which treats all members with decency and respect. There are very worrying reports from many women that they face sexist behaviours in their CLPs and that they are excluded from local structures.
Labour Women Leading were delighted when the Party’s Democracy Review set out proposals for a democratic structure for women’s organisation in the Party, and there has been a fantastic engagement from a diverse range of women in the conferences which have taken place. It is therefore both baffling and frustrating that despite the Rule Book setting out a commitment to an annual Women’s Conference, no date has yet been set for the conference in 2023.
This is simply not good enough – we need a standalone, delegate-based conference which will enable women to talk about issues that we have prioritised, allow us to debate policy and that has the right to feed into Party Conference.
We have therefore set up a petition calling on the National Executive Committee to take action at their meeting on 29 November to ensure that a date is set and that women are not denied their voice – and we would ask all Labour Outlook readers to sign this now.
For those of you who want to know more about our work, our AGM takes place online on Saturday 26 November with plenary discussions and workshops and details can be obtained here or by contacting Labour Women Leading.
The link petition to the petition is here, please sign and share and thank you for your support.
- You can follow Labour Women Leading on Facebook and twitter.
- Add your name to Labour Women Leading’s petition calling on Labour’s National Executive Committee to ensure a date is set for Labour’s women’s conference.
- The Labour Women Leading AGM takes place on Saturday 26th November, see more details in the flyer below.