There are lots of things going on at the moment in Yorkshire and the surrounding area so I will try to update more.
There is an event this coming Saturday – the 11th October – in The Red and Green Club, 42 Bankwell Road, Milnsbridge, Huddersfield HD3 4LU. It’s called Radical Valleys: Valley Women, Politics and Protest in the Past 40 Years and looks great.
Programme and details below:
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook page for the Red and Green Club: https://www.facebook.com/redandgreenmilnsbridge
On Thursday 22nd May, the country will go the polls to vote for the European Elections. In addition, almost 180 parts of England and Northern Ireland will be voting in local councillors or Mayors. Today women make up just:
– 32% of elected councillors
– 13% of elected Mayors
– 32% of Members of the European Parliament
Local government wields an enormous amount of power – a quarter of all public spending goes through local authorities, and three-quarters of their employees are women. It is vital that women’s views are equally represented in decision making at this level.
What you can do:
Arm yourself with the facts: Read our top stats on women’s representation in local government
#Vote4equality: Tweet your council candidates! Find out who your local council candidates are and ask what they will do for women
Donate to Fawcett:
Here at Fawcett we work tirelessly in public and behind the scenes to improve the representation of women in all public bodies. becoming a member of Fawcett. Every donation will be used wherever the opportunity is greatest to achieve greater gender equality. Forwarding this message onto just two of your friends could double the income from this appeal. Why not spread the message by telling the community you’ve supported Fawcett’s fighting fund through Twitter and Facebook?
Established in 1866, Fawcett is the UK’s leading campaign for equality between women and men. Our vision is of a society in which women and men enjoy equality at work, at home and in public life. As a campaigning charity, we need your voices behind us and we are always in need of financial support. Not already a member? Join us today.
From an email from the NEWomen’s Network:
“The call for evidence below is very important and may be our only chance to ensure that the Equality Duty Review panel takes into account the importance of having the Duty in place. While not claiming that the Duty is perfect we would like to position it as something which has the potential to be improved and therefore even more effective. If you have used the Equality Duty and have evidence, then please do respond.
NEWomen’s Network are also co-ordinating a response – if you have any evidence please register here – NO LATER THAN 6 PM ON THURSDAY 18TH APRIL
The Government has announced a call for evidence for the Equality Duty Review. Please see below (details can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/government/policy-advisory-groups/123?). CLOSING DATE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS THE 19 APRIL.
Call for evidence
The review is particularly focusing on the following key themes:
- how well understood is the PSED and guidance
- what are the costs and benefits of the PSED
- how organisations are managing legal risk and ensuring compliance with the PSED
- what changes, if any, would ensure better equality outcomes (legislative, administrative and/or enforcement changes, for example).
The Chair of the steering group is particularly interested in looking at equalities paperwork and policies related to PSED (particularly in relation to public sector procurement processes) and the collection, retention and use of diversity data by public bodies, for example, in relation to goods, facilities and services.
If you have evidence about how the PSED works that relate to any or all of the above points, please submit this to the PSED review team by Friday 19 April-
They will only be able to consider information relating to the Duty’s operation, and will not be able to consider submissions which are not evidence-based. They will not be able to consider evidence submitted after this date. They would also welcome examples of documentation you are aware of relating to the PSED, for example equality impact assessments, procurement forms, diversity data forms, guidance and toolkits.
They expect this combined review to be done by June 2013.
This call came through on email from the North East Women’s Network.
“IF YOU CAN PROVIDE ANY EVIDENCE, PLEASE REGISTER AN INITIAL RESPONSE BY NOON ON WEDNESDAY 10TH APRIL HERE.
In October 2012 NEWomen’s Network published “Findings and Recommendations from Interim Case Study: The impact of austerity measures upon women in the North East of England”. NEWN is now in the process of updating the case study to inform the shadow report being submitted by Women’s Resource Centre to the to the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) examination in Geneva in July 2013.
If you have any stories data, information, case studies, research or any other forms of evidence (including stories and testimonies of women themselves) about the impact of the welfare reforms and austerity measures upon:
- The lives of women in the North East and their children, families and the community
- Cuts to women’s community and voluntary organisation
- Cuts to women’s only services
If you have any evidence at all please register your details (it will only take a minute or so) and one of the researchers will contact you to arrange to follow up it up.
NEWomen’s Network intends to deal with the issues that are at the heart of the current economic crisis and tackle the underlining causes of women’s inequality and CEDAW provides us with a framework with which to do this. CEDAW was established in 1979 and is often referred to as the Women’s International Billof Rights. Unlike domestic UK and European legislation on gender discrimination and equal treatment, the Convention is solely concerned with the position of women rather than discrimination faced by both sexes (which would include discrimination against men). CEDAW places obligations on the countries that have agreed to the Convention, to eliminate discrimination against women in all its forms.
£53 a week?
This petition calls for Iain Duncan Smith, the current Work and Pensions Secretary, to prove his claim of being able to live on £7.57 a day, or £53 a week.
On this morning’s Today Programme David Bennett, a market trader, said that after his housing benefit had been cut, he lives on £53 per week. The next interviewee was Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who was defending the changes. The interviewer then asked him if he could live on this amount. He replied: “If I had to, I would.”
This petition calls on Iain Duncan Smith to live on this budget for at least one year. This would help realise the conservative party`s current mantra that “We are all in this together”.
This would mean a 97% reduction in his current income, which is £1,581.02 a week or £225 a day after tax*.
Please join me.
Fozia and Nawaz are a married couple in grave danger of so-called ‘honour killing’ if returned to Pakistan. They face extreme violence from Fozia’s faimly and community persecution because they have crossed the faith divide. yet UKBA is intent on deporting them.
Love across the faith divide
Fozia is a Syed Shia , Nawaz a Sunni. Well-established and successful in business, the professions, and politics across Pakistan, Syed are regarded as an elite caste. Syed girls are not allowed to marry outside the kinship group, and certainly not to a Sunni.
In 2005 Fozia’s home town of Muzaffarabad was struck by an earthquake, in which 150,000 people, including 28 members of her extended family, were killed. Fozia was dug out of the debris. Nawaz was in one of the volunteer team rescue teams, working alongside the Red Cross and UNICEF. They fell in love across the religious divide. Their love match was furiously opposed by Fozia’s family, one of the most powerful Syed families in Muzaffarabad. If a suitable match of her own age cannot be arranged, a Syed girl is expected to remain unmarried or marry an already married or widowed man. For Fozia’s family , family honour counts for more than anything in the world. In 1992 her cousin, Rehana, was killed by her family, as was the outsider boy she eloped with, with the police watching.
Rest the rest here on ipetitions and please take action.
It’s time limit time again
Ministers have been quick to point out that they are expressing their personal views, and to stress that there are no government plans for legislation on the time limit. But Jeremy Hunt is ultimately responsible for all the UK’s abortion services and Miller is supposed to be the voice of women in government. Their views carry weight and when they fail to support access to a key women’s health service it is cause for real concern. Most of our readers will already know that the new medical evidence cited by ministers to support their desired time limit reduction does not exist. The current arrangements are supported by the UK’s major medical bodies and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has issued a statement emphasising the importance of retaining the 24 week limit. What this episode tells us though, is that restricting abortion via a cut in the time limit is back on the table in a major way. There may be no immediate plans to change the law, but it is highly likely that there will be an attempt to cut the limit before the next general election in 2015. It also tells us that if ministers think that there is any sort of consensus on the need to reduce the time limit or that they can do without much fuss, then they are seriously underestimating the extent of pro-choice feeling in this country. Their comments have caused lasting outrage. Abortion Rights saw a huge jump in twitter followers and an influx of new members following Hunt’s comments. We’ll need their support – and yours – to help us win the coming fight. So if you’re not already a member, please make sure you join or donate to Abortion Rights today.
Abortion Rights NewsWelcome to our Autumn Update: as ever there’s a lot to catch up on – reshuffles, debates, demos and trials – and lots for us to do. We’re particularly excited about our upcoming protest, but before we start a quick reminder: it only takes a minute to join or donate to Abortion Rights. Your support will really make a difference to our campaign.
It’s time for Action on Abortion!
On Saturday 29th September UK pro-choicers will be out in force to call for Action on Abortion.
Alongside women in Belfast, Dublin and around the world, we’ll be marking the International Day for the Decriminalisation of Abortion by calling for rights for women in Northern Ireland and global legalisation of abortion.
And as we head towards another anti-choice 40 Days for Life campaign, we’ll be demanding an end to the harassment of women outside abortion clinics.
After a week in which we have seen the appalling Abort67 given the green light to continue with their aggressive campaign in Brighton (see below), now is the time to make some noise on this crucial issue.
So grab your banners and get yourself down to Old Palace Yard, opposite the Visitors Entrance to Parliament at 2pm on Saturday 29th September. We’d love to see you.
Get involved! We want to make the 29th a national day of action too. So why not set up your own action in your home town? Earlier this year enterprising pro-choicers around the country told one of our least favourite anti-choice groups to SPUC Off! – and it was a huge success. All you need is a few mates, a few placards and a facebook event page.
We’ll help you publicise your event on twitter (we’re using the hashtag #ActionOnAbortion) and on our website. Just email or tweet us your plans and we’ll help to spread the word. There are plans afoot for events in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee but we need more! Be part of a global campaign for Action on Abortion!
More after the jump.
Welcome to our latest round-up of campaign news and pro-choice issues on our radar – abortion counselling, public health reform, anti-choice protests, global news and a look at what Abortion Rights has been up to recently. Where next on counselling?
On the abortion counselling front, there has been little movement from the Department of Health since the Parliamentary debate. As many of you will know, amendments to the Health and Social Care bill tabled by Nadine Dorries, which sought to strip abortion providers of their role in counselling women about their pregnancy choices, were comprehensively defeated in Parliament in September. At that time the Department of Health committed to holding a consultation on abortion counselling to further examine whether any change was needed. Since then, there has been little in the way of public pronouncements on the issue from the DH. When Diane Abbott sought clarification from Public Health Minister Anne Milton, she was told they were still ‘developing proposals’.
However, it now seems that the Department of Health aims to complete their planning for the consultation but the end of 2011, suggesting a launch in the New Year. We have also learned that that Departmental officials are conducting site visits to inspect current counselling systems. As we would expect, abortion providers BPAS and Marie Stopes have received visits, but alarmingly, the officials are also visiting the pregnancy counselling services offered by anti-choice groups LIFE and Care Confidential.
It would seem that ministers are seriously considering allowing these organisations, which are ideologically opposed to abortion and which have a track record of providing misleading and judgemental advice to clients, to be formally involved in NHS abortion and pregnancy decision-making care. Although it now seems that future changes to counselling regulations will not strip abortion providers of their right to advise patients on their choices, which is a victory in itself, allowing anti-choice groups to join them in offering this service would be an extremely negative step, undermining the right to accurate, unbiased information, as well as creating many practical problems and in all likelihood, serious delays. Abortion Rights will keep you updated as we hear more about the consultation – this is an issue that hasn’t gone away and we need a robust response from pro-choice supporters and groups.
Why pro-choice supporters should care about Public Health reform
Another key campaign issue which pro-choice advocates will need to focus on in the coming months is the government’s planned reform of the public health system, which will potentially have far reaching consequences for the delivery of abortion services. The plans, laid out in the government’s Public Health White Paper, mean that responsibility for abortion and most sexual health services will be transferred from Primary Care Trusts to Local Authorities. Abortion Rights, alongside healthcare professionals and sexual health groups, is concerned that this move threatens to turn the commissioning of abortion and sexual health services into political issues at local level, potentially resulting in some areas of the country voting to severely limit abortion service provision on financial or ideological grounds. Allowing elected local counsellors or even representatives of anti-choice or religious groups to serve on planned ‘Health and Wellbeing Boards’ opens up clinical commissioning decisions to political and ideological influence. Have a look at our briefing on the issue to find out more.
The issue is starting to attract the attention of MPs and anti-choice advocates. Following Parliamentary Questions on the issue, anti-choice group SPUC have started a campaign to ensure that Local Authorities are not required by the Department of Health to commission abortion services at all. Abortion Rights is raising these concerns with colleagues in health, equalities and trade unions groups and is urging them to include the issue in their campaigning work on NHS reform. We will also be discussing the issue at a Parliamentary Group meeting this month and will update supporters on what we find out.