Thursday, 10 March 2011

Government 'war' on welfare state is hitting women hardest

Thanks to the 150 women who attended Tuesday's International Women's Day event in Balsall Heath. It was a great fun and a lovely way to celebrate the contributions of local women.

I was asked to deliver the main address and in it emphasised the political struggle for equality that International Women's Day represents.

One hundred years ago that struggle was for basic equality for women like the right to vote. Today, that struggle is increasingly about women's right to work and maintain basic living standards.

As the TUC point out the governments 'war' on the welfare state is hitting women hardest. Unemployment is increasing and cuts in child benefit, maternity grants, working tax credit and housing benefit are all impacting on women disproportionately.

This year is the centenary of the founding of International Women's Day.

I can think of no better way to celebrate it, and the memory of the suffragette activists, than for women the length and breadth of this country to travel to London for the TUC's March for the Alternative on March 26th.