Women and politics – why your vote counts

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2015 National Women's Conference
13 October 2014
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that 2015 is the next opportunity for women to make their vote account in removing the malicious condem government from power.

Conference notes that the turn out in the Scottish independence vote demonstrates that voter apathy can be overcome, and it is therefore essential that we campaign now to ensure that women vote to protect our public services in the next election.

The impact of the government’s austerity agenda on women is well documented. Many women who relied on part time work have seen their jobs deleted as companies struggle to survive. We have seen the emergence of zero hours contracts which are often imposed on low paid women. Meanwhile the welfare reform agenda has also massively impacted on women, particularly those with caring responsibilities. We also hear from our disabled sisters of the struggle that many of them face with benefits being cut and opportunities for work even more remote.

The future is also bleak – incomes are reducing through pay freezes and below inflation rate increases; further job cuts are planned; pensions are under threat and contributions reduced along with working hours.

It is therefore vitally important that in May 2015 our women members are mobilised to vote to protect our public services. The Labour Party cannot be complacent. There is the ever present threat of UKIP, with their even more unfair and unjust policies than the coalition government, and women’s votes are essential to turn the tide.

Conference therefore calls upon the national women’s committee to work with appropriate UNISON bodies, including Labour Link, to:

1) Produce materials encouraging women to use their vote to challenge the austerity agenda;

2) Re-issue the public services manifesto to give voters the materials they need to challenge candidates;

3) Work with the national young members forum to turn out the young women’s vote.