Protecting Women

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2013 National Women's Conference
17 October 2012

This Conference notes:

The strategy by the Con Dem coalition to reduce the deficit is having a detrimental effect on the whole of society; however, the main impact of these cuts affects women.

The proposed changes to Welfare Reform will see family slide further into poverty, women will find themselves in the predicament of either providing food for their family or keeping a roof over their heads as the introduction of Universal Credit will mean a sum of money for the entire household and not monies for individual members of the family such as sons and daughters who still live at home.

These changes may lead to an increase in domestic violence for many women as the family income decreases and/ or changes.

Reduced access to legal advice will further add to the pressures that women will be facing, although changes have been made to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. Research carried out by the Women’s Institute and Shelter has shown that not all women will benefit from these adjustments.

Funding cuts to advice organisations such as CAB will also reduce the help that women can access in relation to housing matters, benefit entitlement issues and Legal Aid.

The cuts to public transport and the changes to ticket office opening times and closure of them at stations will leave women vulnerable to attack.

Overall, the cuts are leaving the majority women without support, placing them at risk and plunging them into poverty.

Conference calls on the National Women’s Committee to;

1) Raise the effects that the spending cuts are having on women’s lives.

2) Raise the profile of these cuts and their effects on women through the Million Voices Campaign.

3) Work with Labour Link to ensure that services that are lost due to the coalition’s cuts are re-instated and improved upon.

4) Explore ways of encouraging women to use their vote as a way to make political change.