Women's assembly against austerity
11 December 2013
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, has signed a letter in today's Guardian supporting the Women's Assembly against austerity.
"We believe that women remain at the sharp end of the government's economic and social austerity policies. As women's unemployment rises, wages fall, the pay gap widens, benefits are cut and household and living costs rise, women face a daily struggle to keep themselves and their families from slipping deeper into poverty. It is a travesty that 45 years after the Dagenham women workers fought for equal pay, we see increasing parts of our economy fuelled on cheap labour, with more than one in five earning less than a living wage and two-thirds of these women.
"In the workplace and in the day-to-day battles against poverty, discrimination, racism, attacks on disabled people, the blight of war and the destruction of the environment, women are fighting back. Women are playing a leading role in the movement against austerity, evidenced by the huge number of women on the 50,000-strong NHS demonstration outside the Tory party conference in Manchester in October.
"Political leaders should be using the nation's resources in the interests of the majority of the people and prioritising the abolition of poverty, insecurity and the threat of war. Our society is moving in a dangerous direction and now is the time for us to decide how our wealth is used and what values underpin our society. In recognition of the leading role of women in the campaign against austerity and in articulating a new vision for our society, the signatories of this letter support the call for a Women's Assembly Against Austerity to take place on Saturday 22 February 2014 at Conway Hall, London. This event will build on the success of the People's Assembly launched in June."