Friday 9 March 2007

A Women's Manifesto for International Women's Day

Yesterday on International Women's Day women members of our campaign published a "Women's Manifesto; Women Rise Up." Some time ago a group of women formed Feminists4John in order to develop the policy debate within our campaign on the policy issues facing women and to mobilise support amongst women for our campaign.

The Women's manifesto has been drafted to stimulate a real discussion on how we address gender inequality and empower women in our society. It is unacceptable for example that in 2007 over 30 years after the introduction of the Sex Discrimination Act there remains a significant pay gap between the wages of men and women and 2 million women pensioners do not even qualify for the basic state pension. In twenty first century Britain women are more likely to be in low paid employment than men, less likely to be in employment covered by a collective agreement and more likely to have had their jobs transfered from the public to the private sector. Women are much more likely to be carers and struggle to balance caring responsibilities with employment. Their caring role is largely unrecognised by Government and violence against women is endemic in our society.

Our women's manifesto sets out a number of key policy demands including:

Tackling women's poverty by challenging for equal pay and securing access to a decent pension for all women,

Improving childcare provision, maternity/paternity rights and financial support for home carers,

Repealing anti-trade union laws and introducing compulsory pay audits,

Ensuring a women's right to chose a free and safe abortion, maintaining the current time limit, and promoting women's health and enabling free access to IVF and safe childbirth,

Tackling violence against women, improving services and support for women who have suffered violence and rape,

Recognising formally the contribution women make to our economy in the wide variety of roles they play in our community.

If you would like to obtain a copy of the "Women's Manifesto" and participate in this policy dialogue contact our campaign by email on or by post at John4Leader Campaign PO Box 2378, London E5 9QU.