Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/479/2206
Socialist Party women's day school a success
A successful Socialist Party women's day school took place last Saturday. Former health worker, Liz Cowell introduced a discussion on the maternity crisis within the NHS.
Maternity units were closed for the equivalent of 170 days last year due to staff shortages. There are 5,000 less midwives than five years ago with a resulting decline in services - unless you can afford £4,000 for your own dedicated midwife!
Members discussed how with proper funding and more midwives, giving birth would be a better, more positive experience for women. The difficult conditions that pregnant women and new mothers can face at work were also discussed.
Eleanor Donne spoke on the issue of rape and why the conviction rate is so low. Rape within war and conflicts was discussed, as well as within the family and in prison. Rape within marriage only became illegal in 1991 and in earlier societies, rape was seen as a 'crime against property'. There is insufficient recognition in society of the underlying reasons for rape - humiliation and assertion of power.
We then discussed how to develop the many issues affecting women within the party and how to encourage more women to join the Socialist Party and play a full role within it. We need to be aware of issues facing women at work as well as within education.
Those present were asked to write articles on some of these issues and it was agreed we need to highlight the problems within maternity in the NHS and draw up a programme based on rights for women within the workplace and the health service both before and after the birth of a child.
All agreed it was a worthwhile meeting and those interested in finding out more about Socialist Women should contact Eleanor Donne on 01268 546438 or Jane James on 020 8988 8762.
In The Socialist 22 March 2007:
War and terrorism
Socialist Party campaigns
International Socialist Resistance
Socialist Party news and analysis
What we think
Marxist analysis: history
International socialist news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis