This morning I was proud to speak at UNISON’s annual women’s conference. It’s the biggest conference by and for women in the UK – which is fitting, as UNISON is the women’s union, with more than a million women members.
Everything that happens in our union has our women members at its heart. That was built into the very foundation of our union 25 years ago, and we created a new union for a new era. A big part of that was a new rule book, which I fought for and wrote, that enshrined the role of women in our union.
UNISON women are the majority of our members and the heartbeat of everything that we do – so it’s only right that women are a majority in our democratic structures too. That’s not an accident, that’s integral to how our union works and how our union succeeds.
A quarter of a century ago that might have seemed like a pipe dream – but UNISON did it.
As a result, every victory for our union is a victory for our women members. They steer our priorities and ensure we put their issues first. That’s why our women’s conference matters so much. It has so much energy and passion – all of which is vital fuel for the work of our union.