Labour National Women’s Conference, Telford, March 2019

Last week I was lucky enough to represent Harwich and North Essex as delegate to the Labour Women’s Conference in Telford. This was the first stand-alone conference for many years and was mandated to send forward motions for the National Conference in September. Voting for Women’s Conference Arrangements Committee, CLP Section, resulted in the election of Gemma Bolton, Teresa Clark and Jean Crocker.

Women delegates from across the country included: MPs, branch delegates, councillors and activist groups for particular causes such as the WASPI women, the Musician’s Union and the Women’s Refuge. They were all able to speak to the motions with real lived experience of the problems we are facing, the stories their constituents had told them, and the policies needed to deal with real life. It was a roller coaster of emotions, exhausting and uplifting in equal measure.

We were pleased that Jeremy Corbyn also marked the importance of the conference, attending with Dianne Butler and speaking so reasonably and yet so powerfully about the current situation and the way forward, in Brexit and in the future Labour government for the many, with women in mind.

There were eight motions put forward:

There were eight motions put forward:
· Universal Credit and Employment Support
· Rights for Migrant Women
· Abortion Rights
· Pensions, including the injustice for WASPI women
· Early Years Education and Childcare
· Social Care
· Violence against Women and Girls
· Women in the Workforce

The stories we hear in our constituency reflect the effects these issues have on women and the helplessness that women often feel when swamped by what feels like an endless fight with the authorities to get what they and their families need. Every one of the motions was discussed and supported whole-heartedly by all of conference. I hope we will discuss them during the year and send forward strong support from the CLP. In the end only two could go forward and these were the demand for suspension and review of cruel Universal Credit and the demand that migrant women be given basic human rights and care.

Thank you for the opportunity to represent our CLP.

I am pleased to report that women of Labour are standing together and our party is defending women with all strength and passion.

By Rosalind Scott