The District Women's Organiser reported to the District Committee in December, highlighting the plight of women in the face of the government's cuts agenda. A summary of the report follows.

Charter for Women logoThe Con-Dem cuts are affecting women both financially and emotionally. Examples are easy to find.

There is the young public sector single parent who has recently stopped paying into her pension fund and says she can't afford the expense of joining a union. Paying the mortgage and feeding and clothing the family are her priorities. This is a worrying trend and I'm sure she isn't unique.

Or there is the young mother who has had the finance to a college course withdrawn entirely. The only way she can continue is to work as well.

Or the young mum, a part-time worker, who is suffering from stress after being told her housing benefit is to be reduced. This may mean moving and uprooting her child from school.

Virtually every cut that has been announced by the Con-Dem government has hit women hardest.

Labour says that more than 70 per cent of the latest £2.37billion cuts announced in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement will come from women workers, who form the majority of the public sector workforce and are more likely to work in low-paid and part-time jobs.

Since the last meeting, most of the female members of the CPB in the District have been sent application forms and information about the National Assembly of Women.

I recently attended the North Devon CPB branch's screening of the Sylvia Pankhurst film. This was an inspiring evening, as well as being very informative. I left a pile of application forms and information on the National Assembly of Women on the branch literature table. Happily, the pile was almost gone by the end of the evening.

I also attended the local demonstration on 30th Nov in Exeter, and was really pleased to see young women out in high numbers supporting the National Day of Protest.

END

The Communist Party, along with many trade unions, supports the Charter for Women.

The Charter does not offer new policy, but instead seeks to bring together the key demands for which progressive women are fighting in various arenas. The charter covers three broad areas, social policy, the labour market and the labour movement. It raises the main progressive concerns and campaigning points under each heading. We want it to be discussed, adopted and promoted by all progressive women's groups and organisations.

You can read the Charter in full online.