We must defend attacks on Women’s human rights

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2023 National Women's Conference
14 October 2022
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that commitments to abortion and sexual health rights have been quietly removed by the Government from an international pack on freedom of belief and gender equality. (https://inews.co.uk/news/government-removes-commitment-women-abortion-rights-summit-freedom-beliefs-1750246)

Conference, over the last few years we have seen repeated attacks on women’s abortion and sexual health rights across the globe. In amending the language to removed reference to women’s sexual and reproductive health, the UK government puts all these rights at risk.

If a woman is not free in the most intimate, conscientious choice that could face her, then how is she free?

Conference notes that women’s rights are also under threat as the UK Conservative government appears intent on either repealing the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) or even withdrawing from the European Convention of Human Rights (the Convention) which was incorporated into UK law by the HRA. Although the government announced in September 2022 that it would not proceed with the Bill of Rights Bill it introduced in June 2022, conference believes it is still intending an ideological right-wing attack on human rights and the Convention.

Conference believes that as a union of 80% women, we need to continue to fight to protect women’s rights and ensure that women’s human rights will not be traded in by this government.

We call on the National Women’s Committee to:

1. Work with Labour Link and Labour MPs to lobby the government and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office to reinstate the initial statement to include reference to women’s abortion and sexual health rights.

2. Work with all other appropriate sections of the union to raise awareness of the threats posed to women’s rights through abolition of HRA and withdrawal from the Convention.

3. Work with Labour Link to raise these issues in the UK Parliament and campaign with appropriate bodies to preserve Convention Rights.

4. Work with the relevant structures in our union to keep members informed about the ongoing fight to defend women’s human rights.