As many of you will have seen, in recent weeks the Government have unveiled their plans for education, in the Browne Review, and their plans to make savage cuts to public spending in the Comprehensive Spending Review. When looking at the proposed changes and cuts, we know that it is women who will be hit hardest.
The women's campaign believes that these cuts are the single biggest threat that we have seen to equality between men and women for a generation. Women’s access to education will be at question and access to decent, well-paid jobs will be far and few between, as these proposals will see the glass ceiling women have been trying to break soon become reinforced concrete.
So what can we take from the reviews in question in positive light for women? Nothing. From cuts to the benefits, to women’s representation, to course cuts, to employability, women will bit hit hardest during these uncertain times. Now is the time for women to come together, make a stand and say we want our rights to be recognised and we want positive changes to be made to ensure that education can be accessed by all and our differences are taken into consideration, when making changes.
But how can we expect this from the current government? With a cabinet that is made up of four women and 19 men, where is our representation? The Women’s National Commission, which was the only official, national body working on women’s equality will cease to exist as of December. The Government’s National VAW (Violence Against Women) Strategy for Women and Girls has had many sections abandoned and they are now proposing to leave the decision making on this issue to “The Big Society.”
The Women’s Campaign has spent many years fighting to extend and maintain equal rights for women in education. From campaigning on equal pay, to challenging violence against women to making sure student parents have a voice and place in education, to women’s representation in Students’ Unions, the list is endless. And we will continue to fight, challenge sexism and ensure that women’s voices are heard.
It is integral for all women activists and supporters of women’s rights to stand and be counted and say “We are women and we will not put up with this.” Nobody should take for granted how far women have come and we certainly shouldn’t sit back and watch this happen. So, if you want to be part of this incredible movement, read the Cuts Briefing below, take on board the actions and engage students on these issues. Most importantly, come to the National Demo against cuts in London on Wednesday 10th November 2010. For more information, please go to www.demo2010.org.
I am a woman and I will march because cuts will hit women the hardest.