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Candidates Answers to Hustings Q3: Triple Whammy

Triple whammy

Women in the UK are more materially impacted due to Brexit, austerity, and the pandemic. This has had an impact on their work and career situation, economic situation, opportunities, caring responsibilities, access to justice and education, health care access and provision and much more. This is especially pronounced for women of colour, migrant women, disabled women and working class women.

What direct actions would you take as leader/deputy leader to highlight the impact of these crises and improve outcomes for women?

3. Shahrar Ali   99 wc  

I will lend my support to women-led campaigns specifically aimed at not simply defending the existing welfare state, but also encourage our regional and local parties to make the fight for a Universal Basic Income one of their top priorities. As for the likely loss of women’s employment rights acquired under EU regulations, I would encourage members to take an active role in campaigns organised by the trade union movement to defend those rights. I will give my full support to the lobby for free child care for all which I believe is a fundamental right of all parents.

3. cleo Lake 58 wc

I am an anti-austerity advocate and also believe that more support should be given to women with caring responsibilities. I also see the need for women to come together in communities to further share resources and follow co-operative models - I would assist with this. My approach is lobby but also work on the ground to empower self-determination.

3. Amelia Womack     96 wc

I have demanded a gender analysis of Covid19 impacts, by lobbying politicians across parties, to expose failure of governments to support women. We must fight for a genuine Green New Deal which ensures we stay below 1.5 degrees of warming and addresses inequality. We must tackle the ecological emergency while recognising the roles often overwhelmingly held by women, such as care, and give career opportunities in roles in green industries to women. We need to loudly oppose any austerity agenda, and support a Universal Basic Income that will help liberate so many women from structural inequality.

3. Rosie Sexton     165  wc

Inequality - whether related to social class, gender, race, disability or any other factors - is something that I'm passionate about, and talk about regularly in my role as Health and Adult Social Care spokesperson on Solihull council. It's important to understand the connections between all these different factors (and how they magnify each other). I often talk about the disproportionate impact that policies and events have on different groups, and I have been able to raise the profile of this issue in our council. Being able to talk convincingly about these issues in interviews and with the media is vital, as is being fluent with the data and evidence in order to be able to dispel common myths and effectively challenge the misleading assertions that often come up when this issue is discussed. We should also be working with advocacy and campaigning organisations to highlight these issues, and identifying specifically how our vision and policies will improve the circumstances of women in challenging situations.

3. sian Berry & jonathan bartley     286 wc

Institutional discrimination against women happens at every level of society, from the data chosen for collection to the structure of our housing and welfare systems, and in parallel with work to expose and fix Black and minority ethnic discrimination and disproportion, these structural inequalities need to be exposed and eliminated. In London Sian has highlighted, for example, the fact that the Living Rent is calculated according to median incomes, ignoring the gender pay gap and the different sizes and types of households where women are the wage earners, which means that these so-called ‘affordable’ rents will be by definition unaffordable to a large proportion of women. Despite raising this with the Mayor for more than two years, no adjustments have been made, and this is not good enough. Sian has also worked through the Assembly in London to expose the disproportionate impact of short prison sentences on women’s lives and was able to bring the views of the organisation Women in Prison and the idea of not sending women to prison at all except for serious crimes to national attention in the Good Morning Britain studio. There are so many other areas you have highlighted where women are structurally disadvantaged and harmed, and so face worse impacts when crises hit. We need more Green women in the room where decisions are made and able to work as allies to amplify the voices of those drawing attention to these problems. This is one of our strategic goals for the party in our platform for the next two years: to build a wider mass movement where groups like Green Party Women, elected Greens, and more campaigning work coordinated through head office are part of making change happen now.

3. Andrea Carey Fuller     354  wc

For women who are working in the home care sector, I have been working with Green Party women to enable the 'rolling out' of Unison's Ethical Care Charter throughout Councils (via our elected Green (and especially where we have Green women) councillors) which raises up both the minimum level of care received by older/disabled women in their homes and just as importantly, supports a better standard of living, and better working pay for women providing the Home Care as they receive pay for the time.

-Bring back the Independent Living Fund for disabled people to enable them to purchase extra support and care in their own homes.

-Ensure that all carers who are registered carers or who are employed in the social care sector (Home Carers as well as those working in Registered Nursing or Care Homes) have a 'fast track' access to supermarkets when the second wave of Covid-19 hits.

-Bring back the bursary for nurses and provide housing allowances to support women in nursing, and social care sectors.

-Support the NHS Reinstatement Bill - to reverse the privatisation of the Health Service and bring it back as a fully funded National Health Service and listen to the NHS workers - from Consultants - Nurses to cleaning staff/porters etc as to what the service needs to be able to provide excellent care whilst ensuring the good health and safety of all its workers - especially with regard to high standard PPE stocks, and higher numbers of recruited staff to cope with crises.

-Support a Universal Basic Income to ensure that everyone has a decent standard of living.

- Use the findings of the Cross Party Parliamentary Group into COVID-19 to improve the lives of all those disproportionately affected due to ethnicity, loss of employment, low-income, ill-health, caring responsibilities etc.

- I don't know if it is being done already but it would be good if Black Lives Matter were given resources to set up an enquiry as to the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on BAME groups (an enquiry led by BAME people for BAME people)

See: as a starting point.

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