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Socialist Party International Women's Day schools
Socialist Students national organiser Claire Laker-Mansfield explained the origins of women's oppression and then examined how women are being disproportionately affected by the cuts today.
Job losses and attacks on pensions in the public sector affect women more as they constitute two-thirds of that workforce. The cuts in benefits and services also hit women hardest. Women use more state services than men and benefits make up twice as much of women's income than men's.
The public sector strikes of June and November 2011 saw many women take action, a lot for the first time. There is a growing sense among women that there is an alternative, the cuts are not necessary and we should be fighting for a fairer society.
We agreed to hold meetings on a quarterly basis in different parts of Hampshire.
Jane Ward, Hampshire Socialist Women
The Socialist's youth news editor Sarah Wrack outlined the Con-Dem government's ideological attacks on women's rights and how the cuts will disproportionately affect women. But Sarah also pointed to the revival of feminist movements and the huge numbers of women taking part in the pension strikes as evidence that these attacks will face a fightback.
Hyde Park and Headingley Socialist Party member Alicia Blackett spoke on women and the family, tracing the development of the family as an economic and social institution and how the oppression of women is rooted in class society.
A Leeds Socialist Women activist
Alicia Blackett started the day school by speaking on 'Women and the Family'. Capitalism exploits the labour of women as mothers, carers and workers.
After lunch, Helen Pattison began a debate about the "sexploitation" of women's bodies in the media and the beauty industry.
Finally, Jean Thorpe raised the need to build the Socialist Party among women. We agreed we must continue to ensure meetings are female friendly, safe, and supportive.