Happy International Women’s Day
It’s 8 March and around the world we are celebrating International Women’s Day. This years theme is #BreakTheBias. Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.
We need to celebrate women every day not just today. We must remember how crucial our role is in every aspect of life from our small families, our society, in politics and in the wider world. Regardless of how tired we are or how much pressure we may be under, we are still partners, wives, mums, daughters, sisters, friends and colleagues. So, let us remember how amazing we are.
As your Women’s officer, in 2022, my focus will be on Menopause and raising awareness about it in the workplace for all, also raising awareness on Domestic Abuse and training on the help and support available. As women, we are always being advised to protect ourselves and learn how to react when we are in danger. I strongly believe everyone should learn how their actions and unconscious bias may affect the recipients, rather than a reliance on women to be vigilant all the time. We need to feel safe and protected rather than being cautious all the time. As UNISON’s General Secretary, Christina McAnea said “It’s when we all stand together, and when we get the men and the other people in our lives to stand with us – not in front of us, but beside us – that our force becomes even more unstoppable”.
Myself, along with Leyhana McCarthy, our Black Members Officer, are working together, identifying how race is an additional factor impacting upon women and the support available regarding the menopause. We are currently looking into ways we can best support our members with this.
This year, UNISON’s National Women’s Conference was held virtually on 17 and 18 February where 30 motions in total were heard. At the conference, the emphasis was on empowering women. Motion 21 (Sexual Harassment – more work to do) and composite B (CEDAW- The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women) were voted by the majority to be heard at National Delegates Conference 2022. UNISON has achieved so much over the past few years however there is more to be done, specifically, on inclusivity.
So please get involved and help by telling us in your branch the ways you want to be supported. Report issues affecting you, raise awareness and more importantly empower other women.
Let’s make today a celebration of all the great women, continuing the fight for an equal and inclusive society!
Branch Women’s Officer