Thursday, 21 April 2011

Public Sector Cuts and Women

We know that it is women who will be at the sharp end of the savage cuts to public sector funds. Women are campaigning against these cuts as they are the single biggest threat that we have seen to equality between men and women for a generation.

It is recognised that the progress made by Women to access adult education and lifelong learning is under attack and the route to decent, well-paid jobs will be far and few between, as these cuts will see the glass ceiling women have been trying to break turn to reinforced concrete.

The voices of women are urgently needed to challenge what is happening. Now, we are seeing women organise together, to make a stand and say they want their rights to be recognised. They want positive changes to be made to ensure that free education can be accessed by all and gender differences are taken into consideration, when making funding decisions.

At the UK level, I have supported efforts to preserve The Women’s National Commission, the only official, national body working on women’s equality but it ceased to exist as of December 2010. It is also apparent that the UK Government’s National VAW (Violence Against Women) Strategy for Women and Girls has been undermined and they are now proposing to leave the decision making on this issue to “The Big Society.”

In the  Scotland context, women are seeking to defend the gains made and continue to extend and maintain equal rights for women in education and employment. It is vital to support campaigning on equal pay, to stop violence against women, to continue to challenge sexism and ensure that women’s voices are heard.

At a hustings, hosted by the Women's Library, women activists and supporters of women’s rights gathered to quiz women candidates including myself on a variety of topics - how political parties promote women, prostitution, equality impact assessments, community based adult learning and access to support for people with mental health issues. 

I believe that the Scottish Green Party is a strong supporter of women, promoting gender equality within local communities and supporting gender balancing or the 50:50 campaign for political representation. 

Useful links:
Glasgow Women's Library -
Engender -
Fawcett Society -

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