Women's Fightback 06, July 2008

The real Ann Widdecombe

Published on: Wed, 09/02/2011 - 16:23

Ann Widdecombe has become something of a “national treasure” after her performance on Strictly Come Dancing. She has been praised for her “good nature and resourcefulness”. Voted back week on week showed people were actually warming to her.

But Ann Widdecombe who has been a Tory MP in Maidstone since 1987, is a supporter of “social conservatism” — read social engineering.

She is a dedicated anti abortionist, has opposed every equality measure concerning homosexuality in Parliament and defended the policy of shackling pregnant women to their hospital beds.

She is a “true blue”: Tory in her

A chance to extend abortion rights!

Published on: Fri, 03/10/2008 - 11:49

Rebecca Galbraith

Not a headline you will often read. But there is a chance we can extend our abortion rights this autumn.

In October MPs will vote on abortion rights amendments that have been added to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

On the pro-choice side the amendments include:

• allowing nurses to perform first trimester abortions;

• allowing abortions to be carried out at GP’s surgeries and family planning clinics;

• reducing the two doctor jury to one (a start!);

• banning misleading advertising of pregnancy counselling services and

• clarifying the limit of conscientious objection.


Anti-alcohol, or anti-women?

Published on: Fri, 03/10/2008 - 11:47

Darcy Leigh

Binge drinking in the UK is out of control and apparently sexually promiscuous, un-lady-like young women are at fault. The rise of “ladette” culture is splashed across the papers and women’s magazines are full of images of celebrities ‘exposed’ as drunk with their underwear showing as they climb out of a limo. At the same time, ITV’s hit show Ladette to Lady “transforms some of Britain’s most extreme binge drinking, sexually shameless, anti-social rebels into respectable ladies”.

Trying to combat the focus on young women drinking, the BBC helpfully points out that “it’s not just young women at

No blackmail, no compromise! Fight for abortion rights in Northern Ireland

Published on: Fri, 03/10/2008 - 11:42

Rebecca Galbraith

The 1967 Abortion Act does not apply to Northern Ireland; if a woman finds herself pregnant her choice is determined by how much money she can access. If she is well-off, and can easily raise between £700 and £1000, she will have a private abortion in England or Scotland. If she is part of the more than 50 per cent of Northern Ireland’s society that is on, or below, the poverty line, then in all likelihood she will be forced to continue the pregnancy. Or she may try to cause an abortion herself. Eleven per cent of Northern Ireland’s GPs say they have seen the results of amateur abortions.


End injustice against women workers!

Published on: Fri, 03/10/2008 - 11:40

Mike Fenwick

A judgement in the Appeal Court this month upheld all the substantive elements of a case brought against the GMB union by a group of women workers in Middlesbrough. The GMB were found to have “indirectly discriminated” against these women in order to pursue a “Single Status Agreement” deal with the local council that focused on future pay and pay protection. The union ignored their right to significant amounts of back pay. The GMB now want to appeal to the House of Lords as they potentially face large financial penalties as the women’s lawyers pursue their case.

Some commentators have claimed

Our movement needs democracy!

Published on: Thu, 02/10/2008 - 11:45

Gemma Short

The FEM conferences (see www.femconferences.org.uk) have made a name of themselves as the feminist conferences to go to, particularly within the mainstream of feminism and with the media and public. Certainly they have the numbers, with the latest — FEM08 — pulling a crowd of about 400 people, in fact it was supposedly oversubscribed. However if you look at the way they are run and at the list of topics for any one of the conferences most women would be forced to say there is very little for them there.

The FEM conferences don’t hide the fact that their brand of feminism is firmly rooted in

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