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Caring, Survival & Justice vs the Tyranny of the Market
International Women’s Conference, London 14-15 November 2015
Contact: Global Women's Strike, Women of Colour in GWS. Tel: 0207 482 2496
We all need, we all want a caring society. Why don’t we have one? An impressive lineup of international speakers will tackle the obstacles to building a caring society and discuss what they are doing about it. From Greece to Haiti, Peru to India, Palestine to Ireland, Romania to New Zealand, Canada to Norway, Thailand to the US . . . and of course the UK. Mothers, grandmothers and other carers will speak about their struggle for survival and wellbeing, but also for justice and the environment.
The conference will be opened by Selma James, co-ordinator of the GWS, who points to the neglect of carers and the people who need care as the basic expression of sexism, and by Prof Alison Wolf, author of The XX Factor, who has attacked as a “betrayal of feminism” the “obsession with women in boardrooms or in parliament” while the poorly paid female shift workers on whom “golden skirts” depend are ignored.
Why are some people getting obscenely rich while so many others are struggling to survive on food banks and zero hour contracts? Why are mothers and other carers devalued and impoverished? Why is the NHS being privatised against most people’s wishes, and nurses and junior doctors forced to work longer hours than anyone can cope with? Why is the income of most women much lower than men’s? Why are increasing numbers of women and men criminalised? Why is health deteriorating despite higher life expectancy? Why is rape always in the news but convictions still so low? Why is racist policing allowed to carry on with impunity? Why are immigrants and refugees escaping destitution and war refused entry and scapegoated? Why have we been unable to stop climate change?
In 90% of UK families the primary carer is a woman. Carers are undermined not supported – many go without so their children can eat. Many do three or four low-paid jobs. Many do sex work to pay the rent. 79% of austerity cuts have targeted women, that is carers and those we care for. 3.7m children live in poverty and 176,565 survive on food banks. Of the 3 million families who receive tax credits, 2.2m are either single or married mothers; 200,000 children they care for would plunge into poverty if the cuts to tax credit are implemented.
Political parties are catching on to a growing movement of carers. Labour’s new leader Jeremy Corbyn, recognises caring as skilled work; the SNP promises to raise carer’s allowance; and the Greens propose a basic income for all. But what about paying all workers, including mothers, a living wage? Would that not redirect economic and social policies?
Caring, Survival and Justice vs the Tyranny of the Market called by Global Women's Strike, Women of Colour in GWS, Payday (network of men working with GWS).
London, Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 November.
Info: 020 7482 2496 • firstname.lastname@example.org • http://gwsconf15.weebly.com/