Adding insult to injury – the autumn budget statement

Conference notes with concern that the 2015 Comprehensive Spending Review, published on 25 November 2015, does nothing to improve the financial stability and position of women, who have so far borne the brunt of the government’s austerity measures. A detailed assessment by the Women’s Budget Group, which was critical of the government’s failure to conduct […]

Tampon Tax – plugging the bleed in funding of women’s services provision?

On 25th November 2015, the Chancellor of the exchequer delivered his autumn statement to the House of Commons. Within this statement he raised the issue of the 5% VAT on sanitary protection being diverted to fund women’s services. It became clear that Will Quince MP had made the suggestion for this. Conference acknowledges the ‘creative’ […]

Removal of Housing Benefit for Young Women

Conference believes that it is a human right for everyone to have access to a safe, secure and affordable home. Conference also believes that this Tory Government live in some alternative idyllic world where all young people live with their parents until they move onto university, before getting a job and moving into their own […]

Rights of Working Age Disabled Women

Conference believes all disabled women should be supported and enabled to get or maintain gainful employment and career progression. There are numerous layers that impact upon disabled women when attempting to get or maintain gainful employment. These include: • Caring responsibilities (children and older relatives); • Accessible support to manage their disability(ies); • Financial constraints […]

It needs to stop

Conference welcomes the motions passed on domestic violence and abuse at both women’s and National Delegate conferences 2015 and believe they give the union a great platform to campaign and fight for women’s rights. Conference is aware that this work is ongoing for the union and the national women’s committee, and calls upon the national […]

Women, the refugee crisis and trafficking

Conference notes that Refugees from Syria’s civil war, which is in its fifth year, has killed around 250,000 people, forced 3.98 million to flee the country, and internally displaced around 7.6 million people. The prospect of a better life in Europe has driven many to make the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean. Thousands have died […]


Conference notes that many women workers do not wish to dress in accordance with gendered stereotypes of what is ‘appropriate women’s dress’. Yet some employers continue to have dress codes with a number of gender-specific requirements. Conference believes that arguments that some forms of gender expression are unprofessional, or societal norms dictate that certain items […]


Conference notes that we are facing ever harsher attacks on our pay, terms and conditions, benefits and living standards. We are expected to do more for less, covering unfilled and deleted posts, while services we rely on disappear and housing costs spiral. As always, women bear the brunt of it. Under the Tory government, our […]

Pro women pro choice

Conference welcomes UNISON’s policy on the ‘Right to Chose’. Pregnant women have the right to obtain treatment and advice in confidence free from harassment and intimidation. Conference is concerned about the increase in groups such as “Abort 67” in recent years that target abortion clinics with the intention to harass and intimidate women, who are […]

Creating an Agenda on Equality and Human Rights

The 2015 UNISON NDC carried motion 85 (submitted by the NI region) on resetting the equality agenda. It is our firm belief that equality and human rights are inherently interlinked. Women’s rights are disproportionately affected by discrimination on all grounds. Consequently, women’s rights and women’s protection from discrimination should be an overarching priority in the […]

Women’s rights are human rights

Women’s Rights Are Human Rights Conference, the recent decision by Amnesty International to work towards full decriminalisation of the sex trade has disappointed women’s groups across the world. As the world’s most prominent human rights organisation we would not expect Amnesty International to prioritise the rights of pimps and punters over the rights of women, […]

Encouraging More Women to be Active in UNISON

Austerity has resulted in severe jobs losses within the public sector and the disappearance of many essential services. As women make up a core part of the workforce, and are also the main users of many public services, they have been impacted disproportionally. It is therefore essential that women are at the forefront of fighting […]

Black women and cervical cancer

Cervical cancer remains the most common cancer in women under the age of 35 and yet cervical cancer screening can prevent up to 80% of cases of the disease. • Up to 3000 women are diagnosed per year • Up to 1000 women die per year despite screening • Biggest risk: non-attendance of screening programme […]

Women’s Voice in Local Politics

Women are under-represented in politics. The lack of women in Westminster is increasingly reported but the lack of women in local government is very often overlooked. According to the Fawcett Society women make up only 32% of local councillors in England and 24% in Northern Ireland. Only 12.3% of local authority leaders in England are […]

Maternity Discrimination

This conference notes That key research published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in July 2015, Pregnancy and Maternity Related Discrimination and Disadvantage highlighted ongoing problems for pregnant women in the workplace, for example it discovered of the women surveyed: • One in 9 mothers were dismissed or made compulsorily redundant whilst others were […]