End Misogyny and Violence Against Women

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2022 Local Government Service Group Conference
16 February 2022

This conference supports women in their fight against misogyny, aggression, harassment violence against women in society. We have seen an increase in this behaviour nationally and locally towards female Members of Parliament, Councillors and elected officials and staff.

Recent cases highlight this such as the Goodwillie, Mendy, Greenwood and the Met Police highlight the struggle women have when raising issues that lead to low conviction rates and feeling of isolation and lack of support when raising this issues.

We have seen elected members facing increased aggression with women facing harassment especially via social media for example MPs such as Diane Abbott, Angela Rayner and Dr Rosena Ali Khan. Recent cases in Kent, for example, where trade union members who are councillors were subject to ridicule and misogyny from Tory councillors when raising the issue of cuts to Universal Credit which was widely reported in local and national media. This was seen by UNISON members and widely condemned.

We have watched televised council meetings where misogynistic comments have been aimed at Labour councillors dismissed as banter and the political cut & thrust of politics.

If this behaviour is seen as” banter” or “cut and thrust of politics” when it involves such high-profile women what message does it send to our members working in local government, many who will have experienced such behaviours and unfortunately some who may be the perpetrators.

This behaviour should not be tolerated in any organisation whether political parties, trade unions, or local government. When women members from local government branches raise complaints against such behaviours they should never feel unsupported and alone.

This conference calls upon the National Local Government Service Group Executive to;

1)Ensure all members in local government, and particularly women members, who raise complaints against such behaviour from anyone never feel unsupported or isolated;

2)Support local government branches when complaints are raised against elected members to ensure that our activists or members are not victimised;

3)Survey members in local government branches to identify patterns and concerns that women have in the workplace and report back to the next National Local Government Conference on:

a)A strategy to support women working in local government that experience such behaviour

b)Weaknesses identified in councils’ constitution that effectively treat elected members who are perpetrators differently to the standards that employees would be held to such as little or no sanctions against perpetrators.