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2011 National Black Members' Conference
8 September 2010

June’s ConDem budget will have a disproportionate affect on women and on Black women in particular. Research released by the Fawcett Society showed that 72% of cuts will be met from women’s income as many of the cuts are to the benefits that more women than men rely on and the changes to the tax system will benefit far more men than women.

Women will be severely hit by this budget as estimates suggest that £5.8 billion of the £8 billion cuts will directly affect women. Also, as 65% of public sector workers are women the proposed draconian cuts will again disproportionally affect them. As well as being providers of public services, the recent budget cuts will also affect those services provided for women.

Research commissioned by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) showed that historically Black women workers are concentrated in low paid, low-status jobs and even when they are in employment, Black and minority ethnic women are disproportionately likely to be working in temporary jobs. Black women are more likely to work in the public sector than any men or women from any other ethnic group. This means that Black women will have been disproportionately hit by both the recession and the coalition’s response to it.

Prior to the budget, Theresa May, the Home Secretary and Equalities Minister, warned the Chancellor that cuts in the budget could widen inequality in Britain and ran a “real risk” of breaking the law. Yet despite this clear warning, the Chancellor failed to undertake a vigorous gender Equality Impact Assessment of the budget.

Conference fully supports The Fawcett Society in their attempt to obtain a Judicial Review of the Government’s budget and calls on the National Black Members Committee to:

1.Collate information on the impact that the recession and Government budgets have had on Black female workers in the UK by working with the National Executive Committee (NEC), National Women’s Committee and the TUC.

2.Work with the NEC and National Women’s Committee to lobby the Government to ensure that full Gender Equality Impact Assessments are carried out on any proposals to reduce or reshape public services.

3.Provide support and training to branch based activists to empower them to fight proposed cuts locally using the powers of the Gender Equality Duty.

4.Work with community based groups, member unions to build broad based campaign groups to stand up and defend Black women’s rights and services.