Annual Women’s Conference The Labour Party
Liverpool 2018

WOMEN’S CONFERENCE ARRANGEMENTS COMMITTEE

Report to Conference 2018

Saturday 22 September Motions Subjects in the Priorities Ballot

 

The Women’s Conference Arrangements Committee has agreed that the motions in the 23 subject groupings listed below will be included in the motions priorities ballot which will be held online over the month of August. See below for the full text of each motion.

A More Representative Parliament

  • South East Cornwall CLP
  • Truro and Falmouth CLP

Abortion Rights

  • Brent Central CLP
  • Cardiff North CLP
  • Cardiff West CLP
  • Hackney North and Stoke Newington CLP
  • Hackney South and Shoreditch CLP
  • Holborn and St Pancras CLP
  • Islington South and Finsbury CLP
  • Northern Ireland CLP
  • Pontypridd CLP
  • Richmond Park CLP
  • Socialist Health Association

Autistic Women and Girls

  • West Suffolk CLP

Brexit

  • Labour Movement for Europe

Childcare

  • Bethnal Green & Bow CLP
  • Blaydon CLP
  • Corby CLP
  • Morecambe & Lunesdale CLP
  • Labour Women’s Network
  • North Thanet CLP
  • Poplar & Limehouse CLP
  • Stalybridge & Hyde CLP
  • Warwick and Leamington CLP

Climate Change

  • TSSA

Foreign Policy

  • Gloucester CLP

Hate Crime

  • Sheffield Central CLP

Housing

  • Edinburgh Southern CLP

Local Government Cuts

  • Lewisham Deptford CLP

Nuclear Weapons

  • Finchley and Golders Green CLP

Pensions

  • East Worthing and Shoreham CLP

Prostitution

  • Rochford and Southend East CLP

Rail Safety

  • Brighton Pavilion CLP

Self-Identification

  • Rother Valley CLP

Social Care

  • Aberconwy CLP
  • Beverley and Holderness CLP
  • Gateshead CLP

Social Security

  • Dover CLP
  • Gower CLP
  • Lewes CLP
  • Middlesbrough CLP
  • Sheffield Heeley CLP
  • Taunton Deane CLP

Women and the Economy

  • ASLEF
  • BAME Labour Mid Bedfordshire CLP
  • North Somerset CLP
  • Selly Oak CLP
  • South West Bedfordshire CLP
  • Unite the Union
  • Unison

Women’s Health and Safety

  • CWU
  • Edinburgh Northern and Leith CLP
  • Labour International
  • Mid Sussex CLP
  • GMB
  • Usdaw

Women Migrants

  • Glasgow Kelvin CLP

Women’s Refuges Funding

  • Greenwich and Woolwich CLP

 

Motions referred to the NEC

The submissions from the following CLPs do not fulfil the WCAC’s criteria for motions and will not be included in the Priorities Ballot. They have been referred to the NEC for further consideration.

  • East Yorkshire CLP
  • Lewisham West and Penge CLP
  • Newcastle Upon Tyne Central CLP
  • Liverpool Wavertree CLP

 

A more representative Parliament

Conference notes:

1. In 2012-13, John McDonnell introduced a private members bill proposing a change in the law to allow MPs to job share, the bill enjoyed cross party support and was backed by Jeremy Corbyn amongst others.

2. The Labour Party leads the way in increasing diversity in Parliament with women making up 45% of our MPs, other parties have a less impressive record; only 32% of MPs are women. 29% privately educated, only 7% of the general public enjoyed such privilege. 23% attended Oxbridge compared to under 1% of the general population. There are 8% BAME MP’s Vs 14% of the population, only 0.75% are disabled in comparison to 18% of the working-age population.

Conference believes:

1. That a law change allowing MPs to job-share will significantly improve the parliamentary representation of currently under-represented groups .

2. That removing barriers to inclusion for under-represented groups in The Commons makes politics more accessible to those who carry the burden of childcare; whose financial and physical status does not enable them to commit resources, time and money to campaigning, and who are not able to be away from home, family and dependants.

3. Parliament should be more representative of the population, a more representative Parliament would change the public discourse.

Conference resolves:

1. That the Labour Party will include in the manifesto a commitment that the next Labour government will change the law to allow for co-candidature and job-sharing for MPs.

South East Cornwall CLP

This CLP welcomes and supports the following statement from SE Cornwall CLP:

1. We welcome any attempt by the Labour Party to make the work place more accessible for sections of society that have barriers to inclusion and equality.

2. We want our parliament to be more representative of all those it legislates for and represents. Issues faced predominantly by under-represented groups are often ignored by Parliament and the media. A more representative Parliament has the potential to radically change the discourse, improving society as a whole.

3. We would like to see the Labour Party leading the way in removing barriers for people from under-represented groups becoming MPs. We believe that politics is open mostly to those who don’t carry the burden of childcare; whose financial and physical status enables them to commit time, money and other resources into campaigning, and who are able to be away from home, family and dependants.

4. We believe that by committing the Labour Party to campaigning for, and delivering a change in the law, that allows job-sharing for MPs, we will be leading the way in allowing a diversity of people who without this will be much less likely or even unable to stand for election – to become MPs, and help shape our country in a much more fair and democratically representative way.

Truro & Falmouth CLP

 

Abortion rights

Conference recognises that even where abortion is available on the NHS, many women in the UK find it difficult to get in-clinic facilities. The NHS has been outsourcing the procedure and failing to train specialist staff. Hundreds of women can’t get an abortion, putting their lives at risk. All women need access to abortion facilities near to their home. It should not be a post code lottery. Conference calls for the following demands to be implemented as soon as possible:

• abortion to be decriminalised throughout the UK including an end to use of the Offences Against the Person Act (1861) to prosecute those seeking or assisting with an abortion

• all medical intervention to be treated the same as all other medical procedures, i.e. requiring only one doctor to sign

• to increase in-clinic abortion care to allow all women who require it to have it close to home

• to increase specialist medical staff to allow all women requiring abortion quickly and near to home

• to regulate on line abortion advice and medication to ensure safe abortions for all women throughout the UK

• to offer all women and girls after-care support such as counselling and talking therapy regardless of age, race and religion.

Brent Central CLP

Cardiff North CLP Conference notes that the rate of abortion in England and Wales has remained steady for many years. Conference further notes that the law in relation to women’s right to abortion is in need of updating, so as to reflect the changes in medical science and in social attitudes since the 1967 Abortion Act was passed. Conference wants the Labour Party manifesto to include provision for the following:

1. The decriminalisation of abortion, by repealing Sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861

2. Alteration of the statutory instruments in England to licence a woman’s home as premises on which the second pill can be taken, when medical abortion is approved and prescribed, thus giving women in England the same access to early, safe abortion as is already available to women in Scotland and Wales

Cardiff North CLP

This CLP supports women having control over their fertility and believes that having the choice to have an abortion is necessary to achieve this. This CLP notes that: Abortion in the UK remains illegal, in Scotland under common law, and in the other countries under sections 58 and 59 of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act. The 1967 Abortion Act does not remove abortion from the criminal code, but permits abortion in licensed medical premises if two doctors agree the grounds of the Act have been met. In Northern Ireland the 1967 Act does not apply and abortion remains illegal with very few exceptions. This anomaly is further heightened by the landslide vote in the Republic of Ireland to end the near total ban on abortion in its constitution. We believe that: We must respect women and trust them to make responsible decisions for themselves and their families. Women and doctors should not face prison for providing or having an abortion. Decriminalization will remove these restrictions and will impact positively on the care women are entitled to. Decriminalization would not mean lack of regulation. Abortion care would continue to be highly regulated and subject to the GMC and other relevant professions’ standards, and the civil and criminal law that applies to all clinical care. This CLP therefore calls for: Decriminalization of abortion in the UK, including Northern Ireland, to remove abortion from the criminal code.

Cardiff West CLP

This Conference welcomes the result of the referendum on the repeal of the eighth amendment to the Constitution of Ireland, finally granting women in the Republic of Ireland the basic human and reproductive right to an abortion.  We note that this change leaves Northern Ireland in the anomalous position of being the only part of these islands where women will not be able to access free, legal and safe abortions, a situation the UK Supreme Court has said is incompatible with Article 8 of the European Human Rights Convention. In fully supporting the power-sharing institutions and the Good Friday Agreement, we note that these institutions are not currently up and running. We further note that human rights are not a devolved issue and believe that they must always take precedence. ThisLabour Women’s Conference calls on Labour MPs to support Stella Creasy MP in her forthcoming amendment to The Domestic Abuse Bill. This will repeal Sections 58 and 59 of The Offences Against The Person Act 1861, decriminalising abortion across the United Kingdom, and allow the medical community and civil service of Northern Ireland to create a policy fit for the 21st century. If for any reason this fails, this Labour Women’s Conference calls on the Labour leadership to support parliamentary efforts to make free, legal and safe abortions available in Northern Ireland as soon as possible.

Hackney North and Stoke Newington Labour Party

Conference notes that: Abortion in the UK remains illegal under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act. The 1967 Abortion Act does not remove abortion from the criminal code, but permits abortion in licensed medical premises if two doctors agree the grounds of the Act have been met. In England women have been imprisoned for up to 7 years and doctors have had restrictions placed on their practice due to the 1861 Act. In Northern Ireland the 1967 Act does not apply and abortion remains illegal with very few exceptions. This anomaly is heightened by the landslide vote in the Republic of Ireland to end the near total ban on abortion in its constitution. Conference believes that: We must respect women and trust them to make responsible decisions for themselves and their families. Women and doctors should not face prison for providing or having an abortion. The 1967 Act is no longer fit for purpose. It prevents good clinical care in early medical abortions and excludes nurses from full participation in care. Decriminalisation will remove these restrictions and will impact positively on the care women are entitled to. Conference calls for decriminalisation of abortion in the UK, including Northern Ireland, to remove abortion from the criminal code. Decriminalisation would not mean lack of regulation. Abortion care would continue to be highly regulated and subject to the GMC’s professional standards and the civil and criminal law that apply to all clinical care.

Hackney South and Shoreditch CLP

This branch notes that: One in three women in the UK have had an abortion. Half of those women are already mothers. Contraception reduces the need for abortion but it does not remove the need for abortion completely. A more equal society with improved maternity rights, parental leave and flexible working might reduce the need for abortion. It will not remove it. Thanks to the Abortion Act of 1967, we no longer have women dying from backstreet abortions in England, Wales or Scotland. 50 years on, it is time for abortion to be removed from the criminal law. Most abortions involve taking pills. Currently women in England, Wales and Scotland have to take these pills in legally authorised premises that can be far from home. That often means organising childcare and/or time off work, and the pain and indignity of miscarrying on their way home. In addition many women face the trauma of walking past antiabortion protestors. In Northern Ireland, legal restrictions force women who need abortions to risk imprisonment from buying pills online, travel to England, or carry babies to term that will not survive. All medical procedures require informed consent. Many include counselling. No other medical procedure requires legal authorisation from two doctors. This CLP resolves to: Ask the Labour Party to campaign for the decriminalisation of abortion. Abortion should be regulated in the same way as any other medical procedure. Support the Back Off campaign to restrict the activities of anti-abortion protestors around clinics.

Holborn & St Pancras CLP

We welcome the result of the referendum in the Republic of Ireland on 25th May, which allowed for the legalisation of abortion healthcare. We note with concern that Northern Ireland is now the only part of the UK and Ireland where women are not entitled to access proper healthcare in a crisis pregnancy. We also note with dismay that the DUP in Northern Ireland, upon whom Theresa May is reliant to prop up her government, is opposed to allowing women in Northern Ireland access to abortion healthcare. We call on the Labour Party to pressure this government now to change the law in Westminster so that women in Northern Ireland are not forced to travel to England or the Republic to seek care or risk prosecution by illegally procuring abortion pills without medical supervision or back street abortions.

Islington South & Finsbury CLP

The Labour Party in Northern Ireland (LPNI) calls for the immediate decriminalisation of abortion via repeal of ss. 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. We call for free, safe, legal abortions to be made available on the NHS in Northern Ireland, through a healthcare framework, in which the woman makes the decision, assisted by her GP. We call for Westminster to intervene, as our human rights are being violated, as confirmed by the UK Supreme Court ruling and the UN CEDAW report. Although Health and Law are devolved issues, Human Rights have never been a devolved competence in Northern Ireland. Furthermore, we do not have a sitting devolved government and may not for the foreseeable future. We, therefore, call upon Westminster to legislate, so that women and girls do not continue to suffer under one of the harshest abortion regimes in the world. Despite strong opposition from the DUP and the SDLP, the vast majority of the Northern Ireland public support change, as evidenced by opinion polls. We call upon the leadership of the Labour Party to support Stella Creasy’s amendment to the Domestic Violence Bill, by using the three-line whip. We further call upon the party to cut all ties with the anti-choice SDLP. Northern Ireland CLP

Northern Ireland CLP

Pontypridd women’s forum congratulates the people of Ireland who voted in such strong numbers to repeal the 8th amendment to the law governing abortion rights.

Pontypridd CLP

This conference welcomes the decision of the people of the Republic of Ireland to support legislation to provide women with access to abortion services in the Republic; notes with dismay and concern that these rights are not available to women in Northern Ireland and that the UK government has made clear that it has no intention of facilitating a referendum or of bringing forward legislation that would provide women with abortion services in Northern Ireland, bearing in mind that these services are available in the rest of the UK and that the Stormont Assembly is suspended. This conference believes that the Conservative-DUP government would rather put its own survival and respective party interests above the interests and rights of women in Northern Ireland and in particular those women in the North who cannot afford to travel to England to have an abortion. Conference calls on (i) the Parliamentary Labour Party to use all possible devices, including referenda, to bring forward legislation or amendments to legislation to ensure that the right to access abortion services is available to women in Northern Ireland (ii) the Labour Party to support campaigns supportive of extending the right of women in Northern Ireland to access abortion services, including via the NHS, in Northern Ireland.

Richmond Park CLP

The Socialist Health Association (SHA) supports women having control over their fertility and believes that a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion is necessary to achieve this. The SHA notes that: Abortion in the UK remains illegal, in Scotland under common law, and in the other countries under sections 58 and 59 of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act. The 1967 Abortion Act does not remove abortion from the criminal code, but permits abortion in licensed medical premises if two doctors agree the grounds of the Act have been met. In Northern Ireland the 1967 Act does not apply and abortion remains illegal with very few exceptions. This anomaly is further heightened by the landslide vote in the Republic of Ireland to end the near total ban on abortion in its constitution. We believe that: We must respect women and trust them to make responsible decisions for themselves and their families. Women and doctors should not face prison for providing or having an abortion. Decriminalization will remove these restrictions and will impact positively on the care women are entitled to. Decriminalization would not mean lack of regulation. Abortion care would continue to be highly regulated and subject to the GMC and other relevant professions’ standards, and the civil and criminal law that applies to all clinical care. The SHA therefore calls for: Decriminalization of abortion in the UK, including Northern Ireland, to remove abortion from the criminal code.

Socialist Health Association

 

Autistic Women and Girls

Conference notes: Autism (neurodiversity) is something still widely perceived as a predominately male syndrome, even though in 2015, the ratio of men to women (supported by The National Autistic Society’s adult services) was approximately 3:1. Conference notes that early detection would greatly help women and girls to get a referral and assessment leading to possible ‘Autistic Spectrum Disorder’ diagnosis. Conference moves that mental health frameworks need to acknowledge that a ‘female Autism phenotype’ exists and will be different to the Autism stereotype of males, that of which current assessment tools are usually based. This often leads to under diagnosis in females. Diagnostic tests for females should be modified ensuring equal access to healthcare. Conference moves that professionals should have focused training to help autistic women and girls. For example, schools and GP’s often refuse to refer females, leaving them with no other way of accessing vital health care. This is often because of a lack of understanding about the traits of ASD in females. Women and girls can mask or camouflage traits. There is a concern of autistic girls being under-reported by teachers. Conference moves that in response to the most recent ‘Adult Autism Statutory Consultation’ paper, (published under the 2010-2015 Conservative and Lib Dem coalition), in which NO mention at all of the differing needs of females was raised, that we now work together to ensure we get a new consultation on this issue, promoting healthcare equality for women and girls.

West Suffolk CLP

 

Brexit

Conference welcomes the Women’s Budget Group/Fawcett Society’s report on the economic impact of Brexit on women, who are most adversely affected due to lost jobs, cuts to services and higher prices.

Female dominated industrial sectors are particularly vulnerable to increased trade barriers. A downturn in GDP will result in further cuts to government spending on services. Women are more likely to work in the public sector and to need public services.

Increased tariffs and a fall in the value of sterling will lead to increased food prices, hitting the poorest families hardest. Women are more likely to be poor and manage budgets in poor households.

Workplace rights, including parental leave, equal treatment and rights for part time workers are under threat. EU courts underpin UK’s equality protections. Women and girls have benefitted from the EU’s Victims’ Rights Directive and the European Protection Order. Violence Against Women and Girls research and other projects supporting large numbers of voluntary organisations providing support to women, particularly those facing multiple disadvantage, have been funded through the EU.

We remember that women were at the forefront of the peace movement in Northern Ireland. We must not put that peace at risk.

We welcome the position of Jeremy Corbyn and our Frontbench in opposing a costly, damaging Tory Brexit that doesn’t meet Labour’s tests and risks a hard border in Ireland. Now that facts are clearer Conference supports a People’s Vote on the final deal giving us the chance to protect our rights and freedoms.

Labour Movement for Europe

 

Childcare

This conference notes that:

1.The crisis in Early Years provision has seen closures of Children’s Centres and Nurseries, with Ofsted figures showing a net loss of 1,146 providers from the Early Years Register since 2015.

2.Tracy Brabin, Shadow Secretary for Early Years, has stated: ‘We need to do more to encourage those that are known to deliver to stay in the sector. The loss of over 1,100 providers since May 2015 is a sign of a system in crisis.’ Observer, 18.11.17.

3. In a letter to Mayor of Tower Hamlets, 14.02.18, Rushanara Ali MP, writes: ‘While vulnerable families are targeted by the current Government’s changes to childcare and benefit provision, they want to see that their Local Authority is standing up to their needs and not reducing the services they can reasonably afford.’

4. ‘The UK is virtually alone in western Europe in providing early years education via the market…’ – The Guardian, 01.05.18.

5. £6 billion of taxpayers’ money subsidizes childcare each year – much of which goes into the private sector, with little accountability.

6. The introduction of 30 free hours has resulted in increased pressure on EYS particularly nurseries.

7. Over 100 years ago, the East London Federation of Suffragettes turned a former public house into a day nursery and health centre called the Mother’s Arms. Its Director was Bessie Lansbury.

This conference calls on the Labour Party (and the Mayor of Tower Hamlets) to keep public nurseries publicly run and support the development of publicly owned Early Years Services.

Bethnal Green & Bow CLP

Poplar & Limehouse CLP

With the increasing number of children living in poverty, and with the rapidly decreasing number of Sure Start Centres it is now the situation that, with the offer of 30 hours per week childcare, children are being deprived of the opportunity of spending time with their mother because of the ruling that women are now expected to ‘take active steps to prepare for work’ when their child reaches the age of one, and to be in work or actively seeking work when the child reaches the age of two. This is a crucial time in the life of a child, the mother child relationship is probably the strongest relationship in a Childs early life, becoming a template on which later relationships are based. We ask that Labour commit to a policy that a mother does not have an obligation to seek work to obtain state benefits when they have a child under school age. We also request that Labour live up to the manifesto promise to gender audit all policy and legislation for its impact on women before implementation. Blaydon CLP Womens Forum

Blaydon CLP Corby and East Northants Labour Party believes that to achieve a more inclusive society, is to focus support to those under three years old. In order for this to be achieved, we ask for a properly funded nursery provision where children develop in a nurturing environment, investment in Children’s Centres and that Sure Start is restored. The system of child care should also be properly funded with increased educational offer for parents and carers. Labour Policy must give priority to prevention and early intervention to improve the life chances of all our children.

Corby CLP

Having a child should not limit women’s economic potential. Every year, 54,000 women lose their job during maternity leave. Uptake of Shared Parental Leave is extremely low at just 2%. Uptake of ten days Statutory Paternity Leave is not measured by the government but some men’s employers illegally refuse even this. Couples make decisions on parental leave based on their respective incomes, but in the UK, women earn an average of 14% less than men. Rates of all types of parental leave pay are among the lowest in Europe, with 25% of women accruing debts of over £2,700 during maternity leave. Parental leave should not be a barrier to public life, and we support campaigns in Parliament and local government to introduce formal baby leave arrangements for elected officials. Only 33% of councillors and only 17% of council leaders are women, yet only 4% of councils have a parental leave policy for councillors. Women are three times more likely to shoulder the majority of childcare than men.

Parental leave policy, culture and enforcement must go further to reduce the entrenchment of women as primary carers. The Labour Party must work with trade unions to challenge the government and employers on the scandal of maternity leave discrimination. Labour must develop a robust parental leave and pay policy which reduces women’s economic and domestic disadvantage. Elected officials deserve baby leave too and Labour must call on all councils to introduce parental leave policies for councillors.

LWN

Having a child should not limit women’s economic potential. Every year, 54,000 women lose their job during maternity leave. Uptake of Shared Parental Leave is extremely low at just 2%. Uptake of ten days Statutory Paternity Leave is not measured by the government but some men’s employers illegally refuse even this. Couples make decisions on parental leave based on their respective incomes, but in the UK, women earn an average of 14% less than men. Rates of all types of parental leave pay are among the lowest in Europe, with 25% of women accruing debts of over £2,700 during maternity leave. Parental leave should not be a barrier to public life, and we support campaigns in Parliament and local government to introduce formal baby leave arrangements for elected officials. Only 33% of councillors and only 17% of council leaders are women, yet only 4% of councils have a parental leave policy for councillors. Women are three times more likely to shoulder the majority of childcare than men. Parental leave policy, culture and enforcement must go further to reduce the entrenchment of women as primary carers. The Labour Party must work with trade unions to challenge the government and employers on the scandal of maternity leave discrimination. Labour must develop a robust parental leave and pay policy which reduces women’s economic and domestic disadvantage. Elected officials deserve baby leave too and Labour must call on all councils to introduce parental leave policies for councillors.

Morecambe & Lunesdale CLP

Having a child should not limit women’s economic potential. Every year, 54,000 women lose their job during maternity leave. Uptake of Shared Parental Leave is extremely low at just 2%. Uptake of ten days Statutory Paternity Leave is not measured by the government but some men’s employers illegally refuse even this. Couples make decisions on parental leave based on their respective incomes, but in the UK, women earn an average of 14% less than men. Rates of all types of parental leave pay are among the lowest in Europe, with 25% of women accruing debts of over £2,700 during maternity leave. Parental leave should not be a barrier to public life, and we support campaigns in Parliament and local government to introduce formal baby leave arrangements for elected officials. Only 33% of councillors and only 17% of council leaders are women, yet only 4% of councils have a parental leave policy for councillors. Women are three times more likely to shoulder the majority of childcare than men. Parental leave policy, culture and enforcement must go further to reduce the entrenchment of women as primary carers. The Labour Party must work with trade unions to challenge the government and employers on the scandal of maternity leave discrimination. Labour must develop a robust parental leave and pay policy which reduces women’s economic and domestic disadvantage. Elected officials deserve baby leave too and Labour must call on all councils to introduce parental leave policies for councillors.

North Thanet clp

Having a child should not limit women’s economic potential. Every year, 54,000 women lose their job during maternity leave. Uptake of Shared Parental Leave is extremely low at just 2%. Uptake of ten days Statutory Paternity Leave is not measured by the government but some men’s employers illegally refuse even this. Couples make decisions on parental leave based on their respective incomes, but in the UK, women earn an average of 14% less than men. Rates of all types of parental leave pay are among the lowest in Europe, with 25% of women accruing debts of over £2,700 during maternity leave. Parental leave should not be a barrier to public life, and we support campaigns in Parliament and local government to introduce formal baby leave arrangements for elected officials. Only 33% of councillors and only 17% of council leaders are women, yet only 4% of councils have a parental leave policy for councillors. Women are three times more likely to shoulder the majority of childcare than men. Parental leave policy, culture and enforcement must go further to reduce the entrenchment of women as primary carers. The Labour Party must work with trade unions to challenge the government and employers on the scandal of maternity leave discrimination. Labour must develop a robust parental leave and pay policy which reduces women’s economic and domestic disadvantage. Elected officials deserve baby leave too and Labour must call on all councils to introduce parental leave policies for councillors.

Stalybridge & Hyde CLP

Vital support for families with young children has been systematically destroyed by the cuts to, and closure of, Children’s Centres over the past eight years. We know that it is vital for the health of our society that universal, integrated and local services be available to all families with young children. These should be in the form of very local Children’s Centres, building upon the Sure Start model that our party pioneered, and we are calling for these to be reinstated within two years of the election of a Labour government. Services which need to be part of this universal, local offer include antenatal support, breast feeding support, oral health services, post-natal depression support, speech and language services, children’s and parents’ mental health support, and parenting classes. These must be provided by the full range of social and health care professionals, working in an integrated way to ensure prompt intervention in a supportive, friendly environment. Reinstating these services means we can give all children the very best start in life, as well as supporting families and new parents through what can be an exciting and tumultuous period in their lives. It is the right choice for equality, it is the right choice for health and well-being, and it is the right choice for our society. We call on Conference to commit the party to the above policy, and on the shadow cabinet to foreground this issue as a priority through a national public education campaign.

Warwick and Leamington

 

CLP Climate Change

That this conference recognises that Climate Change is a reality and is already affecting communities around the world. Conference recognises that women globally, including in UK, are hardest hit by both environmental and economic crises and notes the importance of a move to public ownership of key industries to effectively combat climate change and transition toward a low carbon economy.

Conference applauds women leading in the fight against climate change via their work on sustainable community projects and leading environmental struggles such as Lancashire Nanas campaigning against fracking or indigenous women opposing new pipelines in North America.

Therefore Conference calls on Labour Women to lead the way for the Labour Party to develop and launch a climate justice based economic plan to move away from fossil fuels and to plan for future green jobs. This should include:

i) energy democracy tackling fuel poverty with a transition from fossil fuels to renewables;

ii) halting Heathrow and airport expansion, making better use of current capacity UK wide;

iii) a publicly owned sustainable and extended national network of affordable rail and public transport;

iv) a just transition employment strategy to climate jobs and well-paid, skilled, sustainable employment as outlined in the One Million Climate Jobs campaign;

v) establishment of a Climate Justice Fund funded by wealthy nations and polluting companies;

vi)encouraging pension schemes to divest from fossil fuels, and

vii)engage Party members and elected representatives about climate change and in developing positive solutions.

TSSA

 

Foreign Policy

Women, War and Conflict Women too often bear the brunt of conflict and war. Millions have been killed or injured, their families, homes and livelihoods destroyed. The consequences of war for women include continued violence, disease, and starvation, while rape is endemic. Women face these challenges while struggling to keep their children alive, and trying to find safe refuge. Justice Fair and honest justice systems are essential for the improvement of lives everywhere. Justice must be seen to be done. At the very least, women damaged by war and other violence deserve the best support and equal rights within a justice system. Peace Women were at the forefront of peace campaigns for much of the 20th century, and have a natural instinct to struggle for, and maintain, peace. Everyone would say they would prefer to live in a peaceful world. Labour’s foreign policy under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, based on peace, justice and human rights, shows the way to dialogue and a new approach to achieve peace in the world. Human Rights Many women suffer in ways, often unseen, that renders them unequal and of little value. Domestic violence, forced marriage and FGM reduces women to coerced victims, their rights curtailed. We consider ourselves a civilised country, but we still have some way to go before we can hold our human rights record up to the world as a shining example. The Labour Party’s 2017 Manifesto commitment to ‘put conflict resolution and human rights at the heart of foreign policy, commit

Gloucester CLP

 

Hate crime

This CLP calls upon the Labour Party to commit to making misogyny a Hate Crime and to lobby the National Police Chief’s Council, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and the CPS to implement this in law.

Sheffield Central CLP

 

Housing

Conference welcomes the stronger commitments in the 2017 General Election manifesto, and from the Scottish Labour leadership, with regard to investing in publicly funded and owned public sector housing. This Conference recognises that low cost, publicly managed, secure housing is particularly important for women, having often earned less throughout their working lives, and with primary caring responsibilities. Conference also recognises that the significant reduction in local authority housing has also reduced housing options for women and children currently living in domestic abuse situations. Conference calls for: A distinct gender analysis of Labour’s housing policy, recognising the diverse needs of women and their families Allocating additional resources to tackle the significant shortage of homes for people with disabilities Dated targets for ending the use of Bed and Breakfasts and other short-term housing for homeless families, and families rehoused following domestic abuse To give much higher profile in campaigning, to Labour’s commitments to increasing public investment in publicly owned and managed housing Restoration of direct labour organisations to local authorities, for construction of social housing.

Edinburgh Southern CLP

 

Local Government cuts

We condemn the massive, continuing cuts to local authority budgets since 2010, which have disproportionately been inflicted on women. We strongly agree with our Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s call for “an urgent change of direction in local government funding in this country”. Local government cuts are a central part of the Tories’ project of redistributing wealth upwards at the expense of the rest of us. More and more is concentrated in the hands of a few, whilst women are bearing the brunt of austerity. The impact is severe for working class women, and BAME women are disproportionately affected within this. Lewisham Deptford Women’s Forum believe the next Labour government must move quickly to restore all the funding councils have lost since 2010 as a minimum. We will need it to restore services, reverse outsourcing, provide decent pay rises, build a new generation of council housing, save social care and begin to undo the cuts our sisters have had the large burden of for almost a decade. If we do not call for that funding to be restored, we are condoning the cuts the Tories have made to it.

1. We call for the whole party to campaign vocally for full restoration of funding and re-empowerment of local government. We call for this aim to be included in the 2019 National Policy Forum Report.

2. We call for a review of local government finances, with a view to increasing funding for services commensurate with need.

Lewisham Deptford CLP

 

Nuclear Weapons

This Labour Women’s Conference: Welcomes the efforts from North and South Korea to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. Congratulates ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) on the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2017. Urges Labour women to read and disseminate the Nobel Lecture delivered by Beatrice Fihn and the Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow. Notes that: 122 states adopted the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in July 2017 58 states or more have signed this Nuclear Ban Treaty, including Ireland, Austria, New Zealand, Brazil, Nigeria and South Africa Ratification by 50 signatories will bring the Treaty into force; at least 8 have already ratified. Calls on Labour to support this urgent work to prevent accidental or deliberate use of nuclear weapons by pledging to sign and ratify the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Finchley & Golders Green CLP

 

Pensions

The 1995 Conservative government’ pensions act included plans to increase women’s State pension age (SPA) to 65 . These changes were implemented in a very unfair way with little or no personal notice such as letters (following both 1995/2011 Pensions act) faster than promised which gave many women no time to make alternative plans. This has caused in some cases extreme hardship to women who through no fault of their own such as being carers, homemakers etc. are in some cases destitute. There is anecdotal evidence of women unable to afford rent and relying on friends, food banks and charity. The numbers of affected women are estimated to be over 3 million. Conference calls for a statement of support from the shadow cabinet, a demand for action from the government and inclusion in the manifesto a commitment to a nonmeans tested bridging pension to provide an income until SPA and recompense for women who have already reached their SPA.

East Worthing and Shoreham CLP

 

Prostitution

Conference notes:

That current law makes it a criminal offence to solicit in public, to kerb crawl, to own or manage a brothel, to pimp or to pay for sexual acts with anyone who has been subjected to force.

That the weight of these laws often falls on prostituted people (who are more likely to be women or members of LGBT or BAME communities), so they are criminalised for their involvement in the sex trade while those, usually men, who profit from or use them are not penalised.

Conference believes:

Gender equality can never be achieved while it is legal and culturally acceptable to purchase another person for sexual acts.

That those being prostituted and within the sex-trade should be offered high quality support services to allow them to exit should they wish to and should never be criminalised.

That prostitution is a form of violence and the those who exploit others by buying sex or profiteering should be held accountable and criminalised

That the Nordic Model (or Sex Buyer’s Law) is the most effective method of addressing the harm caused by prostitution, of changing behaviours around the sex-trade and creating new social norms which allow for greater equality between the sexes. Conference resolves to:

Work with trade unions and organisations which support the Nordic Model to develop and campaign for Labour Party policy that supports the Nordic Model approach to prostitution.

Rochford & Southend East CLP

 

Rail Safety

Conference stands with railworkers and passengers in opposing the extension of driver-only operation (DOO) across Britain’s railways and the systematic axing of railway staff under the Tories. Women are increasingly excluded from rail travel by safety and security fears. Women will not risk waiting alone at unstaffed stations, for trains now often delayed or cancelled. Nor will women risk falling prey to drunken or abusive strangers on trains without guards. DOO increases threats to all rail users but especially excludes women too frightened to travel without a guard reassuringly present. People suffer more anti-social behaviour on DOO trains and DOO undermines access to train travel for women and all vulnerable groups, including elderly and disabled people, carers with children, and people from ethnic minorities. Labour must pay special attention to increased threats felt by women from oppressed groups. Women are being placed at risk by the rapid de-staffing of our railways flowing from the 2011 McNulty Report. McNulty promised £1bn annual savings in rail subsidies by 2018 – through axing platform staff, removing guards, slashing ticket office staff and cutting British Transport Police. The Tories showed no concern for women when Cameron adopted this report. Conference resolves that Labour Women run a national campaign to return staff to our railways. Our railways need staff to keep passengers safe and ensure independent travel is accessible for all. Conference reaffirms Labour policy to return Britain’s railways to public ownership and believes GTR should be stripped of its rail franchise. Put passengers before profit!

Brighton Pavilion CLP

 

Self-identfication

Women’s Conference resolves to:

– Recognise that women are entitled to sex-based protections under the Equality Act 2010 and resolve to uphold the law regarding the same.

– Affirm that all-women shortlists exist to achieve parity for women in parliament, and in public and political life. They are permitted under the Equality Act based on the protected characteristic of sex, which is not another word for gender.

– Oppose the principle of self-identification because of the implications it will have for women in terms of safety, dignity, privacy, participation in public life, and political representation.

Call upon the Labour Party to:

– Ensure that the Equality Act (2010) is upheld so that women’s rights are maintained as they are currently and lawfully exist.

– Pressure the Government to hold back on any change to the GRA until it has performed a review of how the exemptions in the Equality Act (2010) which allow for single sex services or requirements that only a woman can apply for a job (such as in a domestic violence refuge) are being applied in practice under current legislation;

– Consult with women’s organisations on how self-identification would impact on women only services, facilities and spaces;

– Research the impact of self-declaration upon data gathering – such as crime, employment, pay, and health statistics and monitoring of sex-based discrimination such as the gender’ pay gap.

Rother Valley CLP

 

Social Care

Through Conservative engineered austerity, we have endured the breaking up of our NHS and the delegation of social-care to private companies. According to The Nuffield Trust Report 2018, social-care funding has been cut by 9.9% over the last nine years. These cuts force local authorities to commission contracts to agencies, that enslave our workers and disrespect their clients. Shockingly, The State of the Adult Social-Care Report 2017 has stated that 87% of Home Care is now in the independent sector. A horrendous impact of this privatisation is the cutting of care-visit and travel-time for workers, also known as ‘call-clipping.’ This is an exploitative practice affecting our lowest paid, mostly part-time female workers, often single parents. Across our country, women are crying out for help! Some are working three jobs to earn a decent wage. Whilst agencies often allow just 15-30 minutes to complete a care visit. To contextualise, during visits, carers help their client out of bed, wash and dress them, prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner, clean, hoover, wash dishes, and have conversations. Could you do all of this in 15 minutes? Often women work for free, staying until their client’s care is complete, and often carers are not paid for travel. We must act to move forward legislation to make ‘call-clipping’ illegal. This is an exploitative practice, that makes slaves of our women carers, and devalues our ageing population. These profiteering and dehumanising acts of private companies must end today!

Aberconwy CLP

Conference notes the significant role that women play as carers and care workers, and as people in need of social care. Conference therefore calls on the Labour Party to develop policy for a National Care Service, shaped by the determination to improve well-being, and not by the seeking of profit, and to include: A good level of pay, including pay for any time spent travelling between the homes of patients, and secure and fair terms of conditions for care workers; Industry-accredited training, given by accredited trainers, leading to a recognised qualification for care workers; Regulatory monitoring of residential and nursing homes and other facilities; Fair recognition of, and support for carers, including an increase in the carers allowance; A policy of close cooperation with the NHS.

Beverley and Holderness CLP

Given the role that women play as carers and care workers, and as people in need of social care, we call on the Labour Party to develop policy for a national care service, shaped by the determination to improve well-being, and not by the seeking of profit, and to include: a good level of pay, including pay for any time spent travelling between the homes of patients, and secure and fair terms and conditions for care workers industry-accredited training, given by accredited trainers, leading to a recognised and required qualification, for care workers regulatory monitoring of residential and nursing homes and other facilities.

GATESHEAD CLP

 

Social Security

Womens Conference believes

1. Welfare reform should address inequality & lifestyle choices for all women. Universal Credit discriminates & denies many women their human rights

a) A five week wait or more for payment leads to poverty, homelessness, debt & crime

b) Sanctions which are used more often on women. In 40% of cases these are proved to have been used wrongly at appeal – debt is still incurred.

c) On average women will be £1400 worse off per year.

d) One payment covering all costs has led to an increase in rent areas & an increase in women registering homeless.

2. We should seek to safeguard women from domestic abuse protect the right to lifestyle choice, health & encourage financial independence.

a) A code is given to only one partner when claiming as a couple in order to gain payment. This actively promotes male control of the household & entrapment of women.

b) The application form requires relationship status regardless of cohabitation. This is against the right to a private life.

c) Seeks to dictate the number of children women choose to have &/or give homes. It is abhorrent & against human rights that women are forced to prove rape or special circumstance to claim over 2 child limit. Thus increasing both the amount of children taken into LA care & mental ill health.

Womens conference resolves The Labour Party should openly and directly oppose reverse and halt all roll out of Universal Credit welfare reform across the UK.

Middlesbrough Constituency Labour Party

This CLP calls on the Labour Leadership as part of its review of Universal Credit to consider dual nomination and separate payments, improving the agency of both partners through each being able to receive a payment into their own bank account and therefore have an equal say in how their income is spent.This would mean that only the Dept. of Work and Pensions would be able to link online bank details and accounts, removing this risk of any breach of privacy of an individual’s data. We urge you to consider stripping out child elements from Universal Credit and making them non means tested and return to payments to the person mainly responsible for care of child/chidren

LEWES CLP

We fear the consequences of claimants’ transfer from existing benefits onto Universal Credit (UC) because UC: Characterises claimants as ‘welfare dependent’, so that access to benefits is not a right but based on conditions or tests, regardless of labour market conditions and personal circumstances. Uses punitive sanctions, leaving claimants in poverty, debt, and malnutrition. Has reduced the meagre benefit support available to disabled people, and to single parents, most of whom are women. Is paid to only one person in a household, leaving women in abusive relationships with no guaranteed income or financial autonomy. Reduces the financial incentive for second earners’ in couple households to increase their hours of work, meaning fewer women with an income of their own. Was cut in 2015/6, leaving many claimants, especially single parents and low paid workers, worse off. Is used to cut benefit costs at the expense of claimants’ quality of life and dignity. We call on the Women’s Conference to OPPOSE the roll out of UC, to SUPPORT SCRAPPING this benefit, and to PROPOSE a benefit system informed by a new way of thinking which:

Recognises that a progressive benefit system puts claimants’ right to financial support and a living income at its heart. Acknowledges how social and economic changes, and changes in personal circumstances, can lead to marginalisation and demoralisation. Recognises the importance for women of financial autonomy and access to an independent income. Breaks down the barriers to employment for disabled people and single parents with young children.

Sheffield Heeley CLP

This Conference condemns the negative impact of the Conservative Government’s introduction of Universal Credit on those at risk of or suffering domestic abuse and those escaping it, specifically:

· That the default system of paying Universal Credit as a single monthly payment to a couple allows abusers to exert financial control over their partners, putting the onus on the abused person to disclose financial abuse and to manage any consequences of the abuser finding out about this disclosure.

· That proposals to overcome delays in awarding Universal Credit by replacing housing benefit payments to individuals with a grant awarded to councils to support a disparate group of short-term supported housing services, including refuges, will put the long-term financial sustainability of refuge services at risk and may also create a ‘postcode lottery’ of provision, which is unacceptable when survivors frequently have to leave their local area to escape abuse.

This Conference urges the Government to work with survivors’ organisations and specialist groups to ensure that Universal Credit payments guarantee the financial security and personal safety of all recipients, taking into account the findings of the relevant House of Commons Work & Pensions Committee inquiry. This Conference endorses the recommendation made in a 2017 joint report of the House of Commons Work & Pensions Committee and Communities & Local Government Committee, that the Government should work with Women’s Aid and refuge providers to devise a housing costs funding mechanism specifically for refuges, likely to require a nationwide plan for their provision.

Dover CLP

Fix the inhumane welfare benefits system Before it was introduced, Ian Duncan Smith was warned many times by many expert organisations that his Welfare Reform proposals, set within the Tory government’s already punitive austerity programme, would be ruinous for the poorest and most vulnerable people – women in particular. The change from Disability Living Allowance to a Personal Independence Payment is something that one of our members is going through at the moment. As if having Multiple Sclerosis were not bad enough, she has had to endure very long and hostile communication with the DWP and is now required to complete a 40-page document and provide proof that she actually has advanced MS and is not capable of work. After a lengthy period of campaigning and much extreme and unnecessary suffering, the government has belatedly announced that ‘people who are awarded the highest level of support under PIP’ and where their needs are expected to stay the same or increase ‘will receive an ongoing award of PIP with a light touch review every 10 years’ (they) will be working with stakeholders to design the light touch review process so that it adds value for both our claimants and the department.

This Labour Women’s Conference calls upon the Government to apologise to all those whom they have harmed through their inhumane disability benefits regime and to end these injustices by, in future, entrusting the assessment of long-term incapacity to qualified medical opinion.

Taunton Deane CLP

Conference condemns the current rules regarding Child Benefit for a third or subsequent child. We feel that denying entitlement for these children unless in cases of ‘proven’ rape is inhumane and a disgraceful means of social engineering. This rule implies that women should be expected to terminate pregnancies at the will of the state which is fundamentally wrong. Women are the majority of claimants of Child Benefit and it is sometimes the only independent income they receive. Let us not forget that all children in a family with a third or subsequent child suffers under this rule. We call upon the Labour Party to commit to reversing this part of Child Benefit legislation as soon as we are in government .

Gower CLP

 

Women and the Economy

Conference notes the challenges faced by girls when choosing careers because of gender stereotypes. Children as young as six categorise jobs as ‘male’ and ‘female’ which has a direct impact on the career aspirations of girls and young women.

Traditionally women have careers in the ‘5 C’s’ – cleaning, catering, clerical, cashiering and childcare, in many industries women are woefully underrepresented, just 6% of train drivers are female. In a nation where 51% of the population are female this is far from a reflection of society.

Conference acknowledges the lack of diversity within the rail industry and commends ASLEF for repeatedly highlighting this to successive Transport Ministers. Unfortunately, no decisive action has been taken.

Conference agrees that urgent measures are needed to address these issues and affirms that when the Labour Party renationalises the railways, there will be a guarantee that initiatives to diversify the industry will be a priority.

ASLEF

Conference is seriously concerned about the continuing exclusion of Black women from economic and political power in society. This exclusion is the result of systematic and structural discrimination in the labour market: concentration in precarious, insecure and low-paid jobs and under-representation in decision-making, politics and public life.

Despite fifty years of anti-discrimination, race and equality legislation, this is a higher gender and racial pay gap among Black women, which has been made worse by austerity measures and pay restraint policies.

Research published by Fawcett in 2017 revealed that:

– Black African women have seen virtually no progress since the 1990s in closing the gender pay gap with White British men, with a full-time pay gap of 21.4% in the 1990s and 19.6% today. When part-time workers are included, this figure rises to 24%.

– Pakistani and Bangladeshi women experience the largest aggregate (i.e.

including full-time and part-time workers) gender pay gap at 26.2%.

– Indian women experience the biggest pay gap with men in their ethnic group at 16.1%.

BAME Labour calls on the Labour Party Women’s Conference and the Women’s Committee to:

– Develop a political strategy, campaign and action plan with affiliates to address these entrenched and pervasive inequalities in the labour market and wider society

– Work with BAME Labour women to establish a joint working party to develop and implement this action plan – To put in place policy measures to ensure ONS records gender and racial pay data and gaps in employment.

BAME Labour

Conference notes:

1. Women are disproportionately hit by austerity. This situation is compounded by women’s ethnicity and social background. Living standards are being attacked as incomes and public services are cut, driving up hardship and poverty amongst women.

2. That the 2010-2020 changes to the tax and benefits systems are projected to impose 86% of their burden on women, according to analysis by the House of Commons Library.

Conference believes:

1. The Tories’ eight year-long austerity drive needs to be ended and replaced with policies that will expand the economy and make people better off.

2. This is essential to reversing the attacks on women and tackling inequality. Conference welcomes:

1. Jeremy Corbyn’s commitment to replacing austerity with a plan to invest for growth and create an economy that works ‘For the many, not just the few’.

2. Labour’s plan to establish a National Investment Bank and substantially increase public investment, to stimulate growth, expand infrastructure, create good jobs, increase wages, raise living standards and expand public finances – all improvements that women would benefit from.

3. Labour’s industrial strategy, which aims to create high-skilled, high-paid secure work and provide new opportunities for women to escape low-paid, insecure work.

4. Labour’s support for action to tackle the gender pay gap which is still over 18% on average in the UK.

5. The Labour leadership’s support for public services, including healthcare, education, childcare and welfare benefits, which are all vital to women.

Mid Bedfordshire CLP

Selly Oak CLP

South West Bedfordshire CLP

This CLP notes that a median gender pay gap of 18% exists within the UK; this is despite nearly 50 years of legislation following the Equal Pay Act of 1970. We also note that society places higher values on jobs that are traditionally done by men than those traditionally done by women, and that this current government is not effectively addressing the gender pay gap. This CLP believes that the economic empowerment of women is fundamental for the wellbeing of all members of society. We also believe that the current economic system, encouraged and promoted by the Conservative government, is driving businesses to focus on profit before people, which may benefit shareholders but is detrimental to the lowest paid workers, who are frequently women. We believe that workers, rather than shareholders, should benefit from profit. We believe that jobs in the health and social care sector, traditionally women’s work, are not valued or adequately remunerated, and that healthcare workers who care for clients in their own homes are a particularly disadvantaged group. This CLP resolves that the Labour Party and the CLP should set up advisory panels to help women workers set up their own social enterprises, so that work is more accessible for women and profits will go directly to disadvantaged groups of women workers, hence addressing one aspect of the gender pay gap. We resolve that female healthcare workers in particular should be helped.

North Somerset CLP

Conference notes women are the majority of those in poverty, nearly two thirds of those earning below the real Living Wage, continue to be paid less than men and have borne 86% of ‘austerity’ cuts. Women are the majority on zero hours contracts and in insecure work, widespread in sectors where women predominate, such as care, retail and hospitality. Insecurity places them at greater risk of sexual and other forms of harassment, violence and abuse.

Conference pays tribute to women at the forefront of progress throughout history, from our rallying cry for “bread and roses” for women to live, not simply exist, to the matchwomen, chainmakers, Ford Dagenham and Halewood machinists, Trico and Grunwick strikers, to challenging everyday sexism – women organising collectively have won for us all. We need to continue to organise for equality for all women.

Conference welcomes Labour’s economic, industrial and equality policies to invest and transform our economy, recognising that creating good jobs for all involves tackling women’s occupational segregation, including BAME women specifically, increasing women’s economic participation and autonomy with access to childcare and rebuilding our public services.

Conference believes Labour should introduce mandatory equal pay audits, the duty to prevent sexual and other harassment including third party, and enact Equality Act 2010 Section 1 duty on socioeconomic inequality alongside repealing the Trade Union Act, statutory rights for union equality reps, extending trade union rights to access workplaces, organise and sectoral collective bargaining – re-balancing workplace power, increasing security and fairer wealth distribution across society.

UNITE THE UNION

Conference notes:

• Major social security cuts (2010 – 2015) disproportionately affecting women, disabled people and ethnic minorities

• £12bn further Tory cuts to in-work benefits since July 2015 • That cuts to work allowances, two child limit, ending the family element and freezing working age benefits and local housing allowances all hit women and working families.

The two child limit will create child poverty and the despicable “rape clause” exception will traumatise women, forcing them to re-live their experience.

Universal Credit undermines women’s financial independence, creates chaos and leaves some destitute. Payment delays increase rent arrears, leave families and children unfed and homes cold. Disabled people lose as the severe disability premium is abolished.

Conference calls upon Labour to campaign for a fair social security system including:

• reversing cuts to work allowances

• repealing the two child limit and reinstating the family element

• reforms to Universal Credit that a) end inhumane sanctions; b) promote women’s financial independence; c) give claimants choice on payment frequency and payment directly to landlords, d) re-instate severe disability premium and e) integrate the skills, knowledge and experience of council staff into Universal Credit delivery

• supporting low income households’ housing costs through security of tenure for new lettings, linking housing quality to rents and preventing the exploitation of public funds by private landlords through registration, controls on future rent increases and a requirement that companies are domiciled for tax purposes in the UK.

• building 100,000 social rent homes a year

UNISON

 

Women’s Health and Safety

Labour Women’s Conference welcomes the commitment to tackle period poverty, and to provide funding for free sanitary products for secondary schools, foodbanks and homeless shelters, that was given to this Conference last year. Conference also recognises the important work that has been done in Scotland by Monica Lennon MSP and the progress she has made with her Sanitary Products (Free Provision) Bill. The reports of women and girls being forced to use materials including newspapers and socks, because they cannot afford to pay for sanitary products, are a national scandal particularly when girls are skipping school to deal with their periods and highlight the serious threat period poverty poses to women’s health. Conference believes the commitment to end period poverty should be a key pledge in Labour’s next manifesto together with the abolition of VAT on sanitary products, if this has not already been achieved. Conference also believes this is not just an issue about income equality, but gender equality. On average every female spends around £5,000 in their lifetime on sanitary products – we see no reason women should be forced to bear this cost. Conference therefore calls for the Labour Party to build on the commitment given last year and work towards providing universal access to free sanitary products to all women, irrespective of income.

CWU

Conference recognises and congratulates Monica Lennon MSP, for gaining cross party support at Holyrood for her private members bill to ensure free access to sanitary products including in schools, colleges and universities. Conference also recognises UK Labour’s commitment to provide access to free sanitary products in schools, food banks and homeless shelters should Labour be in government. Conference believes we must press for UK wide change now. Conference notes that the high cost of incontinence pads is another barrier for those living below the poverty line to fully access services, education, work and a social life. Conference notes that 1/3 women will experience incontinence at some point in their life as well as 1/10 men, with figures increasing with age. The NHS estimates some 6 million people in the UK experience some degree of incontinence. This exasperates pensioner poverty and isolation as well as perpetuating health issues. Conference believes it is essential to tackling social and economic inequality that we also seek to provide incontinence pads for those who cannot afford them. Conference therefore calls on the Labour party to work with charities, the NHS and the care sector to develop policies and find a solution for the millions of people who need to use these products.

Edinburgh Northern & Leith

Conference notes that: Period poverty mainly affects women and girls living on low incomes, at or below the poverty line, and those who are homeless. Shrinking wages, benefits cuts and rising living costs have all contributed. The inability to afford adequate sanitary items has led to: Women and girls resorting to alternatives such as rags, socks, toilet paper, or severely limiting the daily use of tampons and pads: Women missing work- and career-development opportunities; Girls missing school resulting in around 145 days a year of lost education; Occasions where women and girls have just had to bleed through their clothes. Therefore, the Labour Party resolves to: To support existing efforts to combat this issue. In particular that at the very minimum the 5% VAT on sanitary products is abolished. If this is not allowed under current EU rules, the abolition to be replaced with an equivalent subsidy; Ensure that free menstrual products are provided for students who need them, including girls entitled to free school meals, and to be available at both school and non-school premises such as pharmacies (to allow for school holidays): Make free menstrual products (including maternity pads) available for the women in the immediate household of students entitled to free school meals; Ensure that grants are made available through local authorities and funded by the government, for independent social organisations to enable them to offer free or subsidised products (including maternity pads) to women and girls, including those who are homeless.

Labour International

Conference notes: That one in 10 girls in the UK are unable to afford sanitary products, and 140,000 of them miss school each year. Some are forced to use old clothes, toilet paper and newspapers or rely on foodbanks for handouts. That over a woman’s lifetime, sanitary products cost more than £5,000, or around £13 every month. That women on low incomes say they are often forced to choose between buying food or buying sanitary products. That women in prison/police custody have inadequate access to sanitary products, which is a potential breach of human rights & equality law. That the above results in safety (risk of toxic shock syndrome), hygiene & dignity issues. Conference believes: That no girl or woman should suffer the distressing stigma of being unable to afford sanitary products. That no girl should have to miss vital days of her education to avoid the embarrassment of bleeding on her school uniform in front of her peers. That menstrual care is a human right. We rightly provide free contraception to all, why not free sanitary products too? Conference welcomes: Dawn Butler’s announcement at Conference last September that the next Labour Government will provide funding for free sanitary products for secondary schools, foodbanks and homeless shelters but believes this policy should go much further. Conference resolves: To call on the Labour Party Conference to extend this pledge in the Party’s Manifesto and to commit to a universal system of free sanitary products across the country.

Mid Sussex CLP

This conference recognises the debilitating affect the menopause can have on some workers lives. Employers have been slow to recognise that those experiencing menopausal symptoms may need special consideration and for too long it’s been a private matter. As a result, it is rarely discussed and many managers will have no awareness of the issues involved, this means many workers feel that they have to hide their symptoms and are less likely to ask for the adjustments needed. This must change. The menopause is an occupational health issue. Trade Unions including the GMB are working hard to raise awareness with employers about the issues workers face during the menopause.

Employers should carry out Risk Assessments and address welfare issues such as uniforms and access to cold water. Issues that need looking at include temperature and ventilation and whether manual or sedentary.

Menopausal workers may experience bouts of feeling unwell at work due to lack of sleep or night sweats, so managers should take a flexible and sympathetic approach to requests for a break or even a return home. Risk assessments should consider the specific needs of menopausal workers, inclusive of Trans* workers that might also experience the menopause, to ensure that the working environment is not making the symptoms worse.

We need an incoming Labour Government to legislate to give similar protections at work, to those enjoyed by pregnant workers and for sickness absence due to Menopause not to be used in capability assessments.

GMB

Violence against women in the world of work threatens the dignity, the health, safety and well-being of all. It has a devastating impact on women workers, their families, their communities and society as a whole.

Violence includes harassment and verbal abuse. Numerous studies show that the majority of women will experience sexual harassment and that women are far more likely to experience sexual harassment than men.

It isn’t just sexual harassment that has an impact on women’s working lives. Domestic violence is also a workplace issue. In the UK, in any one year, more than 20% of employed women take time off work because of domestic abuse, and 2% lose their jobs as a direct result of the abuse. Domestic violence and abuse affects the lives of millions of women in the UK. Historically violence against women, and domestic violence in particular, has been hidden, excused and ignored. This needs to change.

Conference asks the Labour Party to commit to:

i) Explore, in consultation with organisations representing and supporting women survivors, ways in which reliable prevalence data on domestic abuse in the UK can be gathered.

ii) Applying the ILO Convention on ‘ending violence and harassment against women and men in the world of work’ to national law and ensuring the definition of violence includes domestic abuse. iii) Ensuring specialist services for women and children escaping domestic violence are fully resourced across all areas of the country including ring-fencing a dedicated and adequate source of funding for refuges.

USDAW

 

Women Migrants

Conference recognises that migrant women are both disproportionately at risk from gender- based violence and are far less likely to seek support or report abuse. Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy, which requires many public and private bodies to carry out immigration checks prior to providing services, is a major contributing factor to the latter. Women’s advocacy groups across the UK, including Southall Black Sisters and Women for Refugees, have detailed cases where women with insecure immigration statuses have been turned over to immigration officers and/or denied refuge when reporting crimes to local authorities or police. This has led many women in the migrant community to avoid seeking help altogether for fear of deportation, putting these women at even more risk of violence and exploitation. Conference believes that all women should have access to secure and safe reporting mechanisms and therefore calls on the NEC and members of parliament to demand that the government follow through on their commitment to ratify the Istanbul Convention On Ending Violence Against Women and apply the recommendations put forward by the End Violence Against Women Coalition to the proposed Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill. These include an increase in sustainable funding for specialist support and advocacy services, a ‘firewall’ between public services and immigration control in order to guarantee safe reporting, and an extension of the Destitution Domestic Violence Concession to all survivors of genderbased violence. Each of these measures will help ensure that women’s lives are prioritized over immigration enforcement.

Glasgow Kelvin CLP

 

Women’s refuges funding

The National Women’s Conference calls on the government to immediately withdraw its current proposals for a new funding formula for women’s refuges.  It calls on the government to work with women’s groups specialising in the sector to devise an alternative funding formula, which recognises that a national network of women’s refuges is essential to ensure the safety of survivors. Any funding proposals must be based on the principle that women’s refuges provide specialist services and that a one-size-fits-all approach to supported housing is inappropriate and potentially dangerous. The government must give an absolute commitment that no women’s refuge services will close, or have to turn away any women or children as a result of a new funding formula. This Labour Women’s Conference calls on the Labour Party to nationally organise the broadest possible campaign to oppose this assault on basic protection for women and children fleeing for their lives from abuse in the home.

Greenwich & Woolwich CLP

Link to Instagram Link to Twitter Link to YouTube Link to Facebook Link to LinkedIn Link to Snapchat Close Fax Website Location Phone Email Calendar Building Search