Womens liberation and the aspiration for social and economic equality are key inspirations for our movement.
The (belated) public recognition of the socialist feminist pioneer Sylvia Pankhurst shows how linked these two ideals have always been.
Working women organised to fight for equal pay and dignity at work at Fords Dagenham and at Grunwick forged the way in the 70's for legislative change for equal rights at work and womens empowerment within trade unions. Working women were at the forefront of resistance to the Thatcher Tory Government which promoted an economic orthodoxy that was divisive and destructive.
Again we face a Conservative Government which is unashamedly promoting the same failed ideas. It has targeted working women through the Trade Union Bill and public spending cuts. They are continuing with economic policies discredited since the financial crash and are prepared to use social policies to control any resistance. Women need strong trade unions to fight back in the workplace and in working class communities.
Trade union women work together with feminist and community campaigners to promote alternative progressive political and economic ideas. Now more than ever we need these alternatives to Tory 'austerity' that take the labour movement and the cause of womens liberation forward.
Vice Chair of unionstogether