Better Men Against Austerity Than Women For It

This pretty much sums it up. What an interesting time ahead if Corbyn succeeds – here is Global Women’s Strike’s letter to the Guardian on the leadership contest…

“The Guardian endorses Yvette Cooper because “a female leader would be a plus in itself” (Editorial, 14 August). But Labour women lead the surge for Corbyn: 61% put him as their first choice, compared with 48% of men, according to a YouGov survey. Corbyn’s anti-austerity, anti-war, pro-welfare, labour rights and environment programme rides on a wave of local campaigns, many started by women – against hospital and library closures, welfare cuts, zero-hours contracts, evictions, deportations, deaths in police custody, the mass rape of children, and the arms trade. Only 25% of women supported the Iraq war, but most female MPs, including Cooper, voted for it. Austerity is sexist, attacking carers first of all. Cuts in wages and welfare have targeted women as waged workers in caring and public-service jobs, and as unwaged workers deprived of services. In 90% of families, the primary carer is a woman. Corbyn offers women 50% of his shadow cabinet, plus free childcare and the “recognition and valuing” of women’s unremunerated caring work.

As secretary of state for work and pensions in 2009, Cooper abolished income support and extended Labour’s infamous work-capability assessment for sick and disabled people. The money that recognised unwaged caring work, and enabled mothers to leave violent men, and disabled people to live independent lives is now gone or under threat. Professor Alison Wolf 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. Better men against sexist austerity than women for it.
Selma James and Nina Lopez
Global Women’s Strike

In all, the main parties continue to fail to support carers of children. They continue not to value unwaged work of parents at home, preferring to punish single earner families or lone parents through tax penalties and lack of allowances. Add to this the new Women’s Equality Party which is failing to take on this issue – a fundamentally feminist issue – and continues to restrict its outlook to equality in business, shared parenting (think ‘Get Dad On Board with the nappies! Equality for All, job done!’) and employment rights.  A wasted opportunity. One which fails to support women who wish to care for their children.


photo credit: <a href=”″>Maria Eduarda and her mother / Duda e sua mãe</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)</a&gt;


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