No Picture

Cameron the faker – Tory policies on women

13th June 2006 Socialist Action 0

First published: 13 June 2006

One of the chief areas where David Cameron has attempted to ‘rebrand’ the image of the Conservative Party is regarding women. This is unsurprising. The decline of support for the Tory party among women has been its single biggest loss of electoral support in the last two decades.

For most of the 20th century women were an electoral bastion of the Conservative party. From when women first won the vote in 1918 until the 1990s, they systematically voted in higher proportions for the Tories than did men. However this lead gradually eroded during the second half of the 20th century. From the 1990s onwards a higher proportion of women than men began to vote ‘left’ – i.e. for Labour rather than the Tories. This ran in parallel with the development in the US where more women than men now vote Democrat than Republican.

No Picture

The government’s Equalities Review

11th June 2006 Socialist Action 0

First published: 11 June 2006

The upturn of struggle in the imperialist countries after World War II, accelerating for a decade after 1968, brought more into the light of day the real oppressions and discrimination that existed beneath the illusory proclamations of equal rights by capitalist society. The actual facts of inequality of pay and job opportunities for women compared to men, of legal discrimination against women, of discriminatory moral codes, of pervasive racism, of discrimination against gays and lesbians, the shameful exclusion and discrimination against disabled people and many of the real facts of society were openly discussed. More systematic struggles began to be waged against them. The rise of the international women’s liberation movement, of the black struggle, and of the fight for gay and lesbian rights, were among the most powerful manifestations of this.

No Picture

Women, the family and the welfare state

1st July 1995 Socialist Action 0

First published: July 1995    

Since the Second World War the position of women in society has progressively advanced. The driving force of this was the mass entry of women into the workforce. But its consequences spread into all spheres of society – the education system, rights to divorce, abortion and contraception, equality legislation, legal, economic and property rights and the massive expansion of social provision via the welfare state. Today women face the first sustained attempt to roll back these gains, not by driving women out of the workforce, but by dismantling the welfare state.

No Picture

Sexual abuse and the family

1st May 1989 Socialist Action 0

First published: May 1989

‘Despite the revulsion incest has provoked, it opens a frightening but vital line of questioning about ordinary family relations. It identifies tensions between family solidarity and individual autonomy and children’s’rights, between women’s status as victims and their responsibility as parents, tensions that one should not expect to resolve easily. It shows that many feminine virtues, not only those one might want to reject – obedience, quietness, obligingness – but also those one might want to preserve – discipline, responsibility, loyalty – can support victimisation’.

Linda Gordon, Heroes of Their Own Lives, Virago 1989