Brexit- the women’s voice

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2017 National Women's Conference
13 October 2016

The impact of Brexit is still unclear. What must be argued for is that the voice of women is at the negotiating table. Women continue to be under-represented in Parliament and wider Civic Society. The impact of the Conservative Government’s policies of austerity are having a disproportionate impact in the North East, and women continue to be particularly affected. With the vote to leave the EU it is imperative that women’s priorities are taken into any post-Brexit plan. UNISON have a key role to play in promoting a post-Brexit vision of maintaining rights at work, and Equality legislation.

According to the 2011 census the UK had 63.182million people of which 32.153 million were female and 31.029 million were male

Workers, in particular female workers from other countries in the EU support our public services. They provide vital skills and knowledge to our NHS in particular and without these workers our NHS would struggle to fill posts, as they already do. These staff are already facing discrimination and racism following the Brexit vote, we already have staff looking to leave the UK as they no longer feel wanted our valued. We need to show these staff that the UK values their support and contribution, and we should ensure that these workers are not treat differently or unfairly because of their country of origin.

We must ensure that there is absolutely no weakening of women’s rights post Brexit, either directly or indirectly. Including but not limited to: Part time workers rights, Maternity rights, Equal pay, Health and safety and more.

Therefore we ask NWC to:

1) Work with regions and labour link to identify strategies that encourage participation of their women members in the political discussion around Brexit.

2) Work with Labour link and regions to develop greater links with their MEP’s and encourage members to engage in local opportunities around Brexit such as consultations.

3) Work with Labour Link and Regions to make Brexit discussions relevant to our women members.

4) Encourage the NEC to engage in the Fawcet society campaign #FaceHerFuture