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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 March 2017

Women need secure jobs and equal pay, not patronising 'returnships'

IWD 2017, Seattle, US

IWD 2017, Seattle, US   (Click to enlarge)

Laurel Fogarty, recent parent

The Tory government has announced 5 million of investment in 'returnships': internships targeted at women who left work to raise a family.

The scheme exploits experienced women who have been out of work for a number of years, giving them between two and 12 weeks of 'work experience' at lower pay, often on a part-time basis. There is no guarantee of full-time employment at the end of the scheme.

This represents an increasing devaluation of women's labour as well as the continued casualisation of the workforce in every domain.

Returnships further entrench the nonsense idea that women who have chosen to raise families have somehow become unskilled, less effective workers, and liabilities who should not be employed on full-time contracts or at their previous rate of pay.

This is blatant super-exploitation masquerading as opportunity. It allows companies to take advantage of women: using their skills and expertise and paying them less.

Patronising internships are not the answer for women who choose to take a break from work to raise a family, or for those who are forced out of work after having children due to the high cost of childcare and entrenched sexism.

Nor are they the answer for thousands of working class women who do not have access to the scheme - which is aimed at executives and managers - but are equally devalued in the workplace.

Capitalism thrives on the free domestic labour of women. At the same time it labels women who have chosen or been forced to do this work as 'risky' employees - preventing them from re-joining the workforce on an equal footing with men.

We must fight this system and fight for the rights of women to work, for affordable childcare, and for an end to all exploitation. Public ownership and democratic planning of the economy could lay the basis to make any improvements women win permanent.

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In The Socialist 29 March 2017:


What we think

Unite against terror, racism and war


Socialist Party news and analysis

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Top banks post 67% of profits in tax havens - nationalise the banks!

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Homelessness agencies accused of being complicit in coercive deportations

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Martin McGuinness: from IRA leader to Stormont minister


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Over a thousand march with Durham TAs against 23% pay cut

Join the 31 March PCS pay protest

Bridgend Ford overtime stoppage in sourcing dispute

Forest Hill school in Lewisham fights back

Dispute against backdoor privatisation of mental health services

Ballot papers go out in Unite elections

Fujitsu strikes: Manchester and Warrington

Deliveroo victory in Leeds

TUSC backs RMT struggle against Merseyrail


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Universal Credit is making the housing crisis worse

Save Cardiff's live music venues

Women need secure jobs and equal pay, not patronising 'returnships'

Why I Joined: "I joined Socialist Party to campaign to save the NHS"

The Socialist Inbox


International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia

Belarus: movement developing against regime


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"Save our Nurseries", Tower Hamlets campaigners tell the council

South Yorkshire Freedom Riders celebrate three years of fighting

Memorial meeting remembers Bernard Roome

Save Plymouth's libraries!

May Day greetings in the Socialist


 

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