Women in UNISON
UNISON has almost one million women members – more than two thirds of our union. Women still earn a lot less than men and face sex discrimination and harassment at work. Our members also juggle work and home commitments. Many have caring responsibilities and almost half work part-time. This is why UNISON takes a lead on negotiating and campaigning on women’s rights at work and in the community.
Mel Valentino is the branch Women’s Officer: Melanie.Valentino@hants.gov.uk
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Women’s History Month – March 2016
To mark Women’s History Month in March Hampshire UNISON ran a stall in Elizabeth II Court, focussing on women at work, and issues faced by women internationally.
We invited women members to take part in an on-line quiz: How many laws did you break today?, hosted on the Match International Women’s Fund website, which asked women to consider what kinds of acts were illegal for women in some parts of the world. We also distributed our newsletter focussing on UNISON Women’s Conference, current local campaigns (Sure Start closures), and issues affecting women nationally (Tampon tax, inequalities, the gender pay gap and so on).
One of the activities on the stall invited women to post their work related issues on a display board: What is the biggest issue affecting you as a woman working in public services? Among the issues reported were:
- Low pay
- Lack of opportunity for career development
- Pay differences
- Time off suddenly for childcare
- Over 60 and a woman goes against you
- Flexible working
- Work done by women is valued less by society, eg. Caring jobs valued less than financial/city jobs
- Caring responsibilities, working mums, juggling work and family
- Unable to get a permanent contract, string of temporary jobs
- Overlooked for promotion
Over the coming weeks we will be looking at the issues raised by members with a view to organising potential campaigns – so watch this space!
Women in the South East Find out what’s happening in our region for women members
Fawcett Society Fawcett campaigns for equality between women and men. Where there’s an inequality gap between women and men they are working to close it. UNISON campaigns with Fawcett on equal pay and other gender issues.
Abortion Rights The national pro-choice campaign, lobbying for law reform and the provision of easily accessible, woman friendly, NHS funded abortion services