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International Women's Day #IWD

© red engine

8 March 2019

The International Women's Day 2019 campaign theme of #BalanceforBetter is a call to action for driving gender balance across the world.

TUC Women’s conference (6, 7 8 March 2019)

Speaking from the TUC’s Women’s conference, Natasha Hirst, chair of NUJ Equality Council said: “While we celebrate the achievements of women on International Women's Day, recent campaigns on sexual harassment and equal pay serve to highlight the continuing struggle for gender equality. As a union we have long recognised the power of collective action for protecting the rights of women at work, including those who freelance.  Women and men need to stand together to demand gender parity – #BalanceforBetter.”

The TUC Women’s conference passed a motion proposed by the NUJ which noted that only 15 per cent of photojournalists were women and they disproportionately dropped out of the industry even though photography degrees usually had more female than male students. It says: “Men and women experience life differently and have different perspectives to offer, yet the view of what constitutes ‘good photography’ has largely been defined by the work of men.” The motion called on the TUC and NUJ Women’s Network to support the development of opportunities for women in photography and promote mentoring, grants and scholarships and address gender imbalance.  Full motion.

The NUJ delegates also spoke on a range of issues affecting women members, including universal credit, sexual harassment and dignity at work, mental health and shared parental pay for the self-employed.

Women photographers: the NUJ’s Photographers’ Council is holding a conference on Wednesday 19 June in London to discuss the imbalance between the sexes in the industry. If you are a female photographer the NUJ is interested to hear from you about the barriers to women photographers and videographers and how the union can help. Contact us at  

You can download the Photographers’ recruitment leaflet

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Stop the gender pay gap: put gender pay on your chapel agenda, look out for your organisation’s reporting of its gender pay and bonuses gap on the government’s gender pay gap service. Companies with more than 250 employees must report their figures by April. Set up a meeting with your company to discuss measures to reduce the pay disparity.  You can download the NUJ’s briefing for reps, its gender pay poster or use this image on social media when campaigning for the end of the gender pay gap.

A TUC report released on March 6  2019 reveals that the average woman waits more than two months of the calendar year before she starts to get paid compared to the average man. The gender pay gap for all employees stands at 17.9 per cent and this gap means that women effectively work for free for the first 65 days of the year, until they begin to get paid on Women’s Pay Day, March 6.  Regional break down.

An analysis by Press Gazette of last year’s figures showed 91 per cent of UK-based media companies paid men more than women on average and 85 per cent paid men more in bonus pay.

What does the gender pay gap mean? @DharshiniDavidinvestigates

Equal Pay
The NUJ continues to successfully challenge employers on equal pay for its members. Under the Equality Act 2010, employers must give men and women equal treatment in the terms and conditions of their employment contract if they are employed to do 'like work', work rated as equivalent or work found to be of equal value. However, it is still the case that statistically men are paid more than their female colleagues.  It is vital therefore that we continue to strive for pay parity for all members.

The union supported BBC presenter Carrie Gracie who resigned from her role as China editor when she discovered male colleagues were being paid more; she eventually received an apology from the corporation. Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, gave evidence with her to the culture and media select  committee investigation into pay at the BBC.

Organise a pay audit of your workplace (including freelances). If you would you like to be able to put together an effective equal pay claim and identify ways equality can be embedded in chapel and branch organising, then sign up to this free NUJ training course for all reps on Thursday 21 March.  Book your place on this free course.

Sexual harassment

Union panel at the confence: Olivia Hetreed, Semeena Zehra, Isabelle Guterriez & Natasha Hirst       ©Mark Thomas

The NUJ took part in a Federation of Entertainment Unions conference which brought together the unions and employers to evaluate the response to the #MeToo movement in the media and creative industries. Conference report

NUJ briefing on sexual harassment

Stop violence against women journalists
Gender-based violence is one of the most prevalent and tolerated human rights violations in the world. The NUJ and International Federation of Journalists are standing alongside the Global Trade Union Movement in acting to end gender-based violence at work and campaigning for a new ILO convention to tackle the various forms of gender-based violence that occur in the world of work. Take part in the campaign

Women’s pensions
The NUJ is supporting the WASPI campaign, fighting for fairness for women of women born in the 1950s (on or after 6th April 1951) who have been hit particularly hard by the 1995 State Pension Act which increases women’s state pension age from 60 to 65, to be the same as men  While WASPI agrees with equalisation, it does not agree with the unfair way the changes were implemented, with hundreds of thousands suffering financial hardship, with not enough time to re-plan for retirement. Find out more about the campaign

Tags: , iwd, international women's day, gender audit, gender-based violence, gender pay gap, waspi, pensions, sexual harassment, feu, equality act 2010, equal pay, photographers, photographers' council, tuc, tuc women's conference