Don’t let the coalition abandon equality

One of the good things about having free Saturdays, now that I’ve sadly left the CAB, is that I can get more involved with Manchester Labour Women’s Forum. This is what it says on the tin – an opportunity for Manchester Labour’s women councillors, candidates and activists to campaign together, to encourage more women to stand and to support one another.

At our meeting earlier this week we agreed to support the Fawcett Society’s legal challenge to the emergency budget. The basis for this is simple – under the Gender Equality Duty, the government is legally required to assess how its budget will impact on women differently than from men. The government didn’t do this – despite Theresa May’s perfunctory reminder to George Osborne that they should – but the truth is that women will be massively disadvantaged by the coalition’s cuts. Fawcett says:

‘Even a top line assessment of the budget measures show 72 per cent of cuts will be met from women’s income as opposed to 28 per cent from men’s. This is because many of the cuts are to the benefits that more women than men rely on, and the changes to the the tax system will benefit far more men than women.’

Have a look at the Fawcett Society website for more (and why not join? You get a free t-shirt). If you’re a Manchester woman and want to get involved with the campaign then let me know.

Labour women in the Manchester area might also be interested in attending the Women’s Summit at this year’s annual conference, which will be outside the secure zone in the Town Hall, on Sunday 26 September from 10am-12.30pm.

The Labour Women’s Summit was started three years ago to give Labour’s elected women representatives, peers, leading trade unionists and activists a chance to take stock of the progress we have made and to identify our key future policy and campaign objectives going forward. The Summit will also include a presentation on how women voted at the general election.

If you want to be there, confirm your attendance by email to sarah_mulholland@new.labour.org.uk or by telephone on 020 7783 1381. Places are limited so book early!

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