June 24, 2011 by
The key messages are below. See here [link to report] for the whole report.
- There is concern about the participation of women in the party, with implications for style and structure. The party needs to respond to this.
- Representation at all levels in the party is vital – rules should seek 50:50 or 40:60 representation at all levels.
- The party response needs to build in the needs of women who want to be part of POLITICS and leaders in their communities but don’t necessarily want a political career.
- There is overwhelming support for Harriet Harman’s initiative for a working group to be set up and recommendations on Gender Balance in the Leadership team. 22 responseswere in favour , two were not in favour of the status quo and two were “don’t knows.”
- Access to childcare in party activity and in supporting parents in political roles needs to be addressed in a far more comprehensive way.
- There is a call for regional access to political education. In London there are whole range of fora for debate and discussion, but OUTSIDE London the fora are much fewer. Therefore the expectations on local Parties to be the vehicle through which this happens is much greater. This needs greater support, training and expectations of Political Education officers.
- There is strong ongoing support for all women shortlists, but the there needs to be more discussion on the criteria and process of determining AWSs. However the method has to be one that improves outcomes and sees us moving forwards in terms of representation in the PLP.
- There is strong support for only members voting in selections, though with possibility of non‐members attending hustings. There is an even split on whether the party should pilot primaries. More were in favour than not.
- There is support for an elected Party Chair.
June 15, 2011 by
The coalition’s plans for the extra rise in Women’s State Pension Age goes too far and too fast, according to the speakers at the Fabian Women’s Pensions event.
Speaking to an audience of about 50 people in the House of Commons, Baroness Hollis of Heigham, the Shadow Pensions Minister Rachel Reeves, Margaret Creear of Age UK and the Pensions Minister Steve Webb spoke of their concern for the most vulnerable women.
Margaret Creear from Age UK read out the real-life reactions of 57-year-old women on learning they have to wait two years extra for their state pension with as little as six years’ time to prepare for the delay. These women, through no fault of their own, bear the worst brunt of the coalition’s short-notice plan to speed up the rise in women’s state pension age to 65 from 2016 and to 66 from 2018.
The women face a loss of £10,000 in state pension income over two years – up to £15,000 if they could have been on Pension Credit. They will have no time to build up alternative pension provision and could have to draw on modest rainy day savings to survive. Women in manual jobs or in the low-earning work women often find themselves in after taking time out to care of children or relatives have no prospect of replacement pension savings.
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June 09, 2011 by
Tues 14th June at 7pm prompt – 8.15pm (please arrive at the House of Commons by 6.30pm to allow time for security)
Venue: House of Commons
Women in the UK earn less than men and are more likely than men to take careers breaks to care for children or elderly relatives. Added to the fact that women live longer than men, this has long had a significant effect on women’s ability to save for their retirements. Added to this, the Government has proposed to accelerate the equalisation of the State Pension Age for women by 2018, and then increase SPA to 66 by 2020.
In light of these changes and the increasing retirement savings gap, are women being hit hardest by pension reforms? The event will look at where we are now in terms of the cross-party consensus for pensions reform that was achieved after the Turner Commission, and how we keep a cross-party dialogue on this critical long-term issue. Speakers include:
Steve Webb MP, Pensions Minister
Rachel Reeves MP, Shadow Pensions Minister
Margaret Creear, Senior Campaigns Officer, AGE UK
Baroness Patricia Hollis (tbc)
This event is open to Fabian and non Fabian members. You are welcome to register with a friend/guest who this might be of interest to – but please email names in advance and we will be able to give you final details by Monday. To register, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org preferably by Friday 10th June. Places can still be reserved on the day up to 12pm.
You can also follow the event on Twitter at @fabianwomen and the hashtag is #womenspensions.