Category: Campaigns

Cheryl O'Brien

A New Deal for Women - TUC Women’s Conference report

Five women attending the TUC Women's conference

TUC Women's Conference took place in Congress House, London, from 6 to 8 March 2024. In the following report Cheryl O’Brien from Wales No 1 Branch describes her experience as a delegate: 

Women’s Conference convened after registration on Wednesday 6th March and delegates were welcomed to Conference. 346 delegates attended over the three days. We enjoyed the opening speeches which came from Matt Wrack, General Secretary of the FBU, and Paul Nowak, General Secretary of the TUC.

Forty six different motions were debated on many varying subjects. There were eleven composite motions. Subjects ranged from Women’s Health and Safety in the Workplace to Childcare, Artificial  Intelligence and its risks to women, Flexible Working, Underrepresentation of Women and Sexual Stereotyping in the Arts, to name only a few.

There were two Emergency motions on Abortion Law and Prosecutions, alongside a motion for A Just Transition for Steel and for Women. Conference noted the devastating plans to close the blast furnaces and the impact that this will have on the local communities in and around Port Talbot. This will impact severely on the women living in the area. Both Emergency Motions were carried unanimously.

We had an information and sometime emotive live link connection to Dr Alisheh Hoummoda who was able to tell us what was happening in Gaza and how Palestinians are struggling on every front.

She spoke of crimes against humanity and the war crimes that are taking place. How children and women are impacted by these crimes. There are so many children there without parents. She explained that there is no medication and that amputations are now carried out with any form of painkiller. Wounds have to be left untreated, many wounds being invaded by worms and other creatures.

There is no food in the country, people have resorted to eating anything they can. There are no animals left and as working animals die often of natural causes, they are used for food. People are eating grass.

The traumas being caused by this war will take many years and much treatment, again children will be most impacted. She asked that we all keep demanding an immediate and lasting ceasefire.

She asked why we accept so much cruelty and said there are no words to describe what is happening. It is the right of Palestinians to live in dignity.

On the last morning Anneliese Dodds, Shadow Secretary of State in the Labour Party, attended Conference to speak to delegates.

She said how she believes working women deserve a better deal that they are currently receiving from the current government. She said that should the Labour Party form the next government, Labour will take the next step to progress this country's first Secretary of State for Women and Equality, taking inspiration from women like the delegates at Conference and the Labour Movement. The need for change was urgent.

Debate was inclusive and varied and I enjoyed my informative and educative time at Conference, thank you to TSSA for supporting my attendance.

TSSA members attending a rally

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