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Thursday, 21 October 2010

As everyone is focussing on the reforms within the coalition during economic downturn, is it correct for women to feel vulnerable during these times?

Most policy areas are piecemeal, disjointed for women inequalities in all political arenas. The political discourse continues as it is debated within the cross cabinet committee led by Theresa May. What’s interesting is the stance Government takes on the issue of addressing women inequalities. Theresa May has many portfolio’s in order to fulfil the voice of many women, however there needs to be a deep presence for voice participation through wider female advocates and MP’s.

‘LITTLE OLD LADIES’

My attendance at the ‘Little Old Ladies’ event at the Conservative Conference demonstrated how little we have progressed in society. Overlooking the patronising terminology; older women views are disregarded not fit to have a voice and already eliminated from the process of active participation and consultation. The Government through its advisory channels is forcing some change for the good to take place which is positive to hear even from the shaky views of the leading Elderly Women campaigners. Lynne Berry, chief executive from the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service was the first to admit the lack of willingness.


Yes women from fifty eight onwards still frankly have a growing voice, can influence and overcome barriers for the growing aged population. The majority of women alarmingly are not heard or seen to be heard; despite experience and expertise in health and social care and the broader public policy agenda. I cannot afford to hide behind policy committee rooms ignorantly and MP’s behind chambers are now openly advocating the same, women categorised as older members within communities have equal importance, dignity and expertise, medical backgrounds, professional academics, community champions and leaders; yes our mothers have a wealth of experience.

LOLPP- Little Old Ladies Public Policy Health and Social Care campaign have advocated to equality proof policy that affects this group. As we mark occasions, they come annually; Older People day for the full of life vitality, for all the wisdom these women have we must not forget they have a voice. There is no place or tolerance in a society where the majority of people in 2020, half of these will be women over 50. The citizens of this demographic group are active; require their considerations taken into account in all policies. As the economic down turn and impact on women and retirements, pensions and packages are overlooked these women need to know we are on their side actively looking at their interests without the vulnerability factor but as independent hard working women. They do not always gather and have tea and shortbread, yes they discuss community, politics, national and local issues, transport and devolution and community safety matters that impact in the heart of communities as well as schooling, health provision and the environment for our young people.

Amongst these communities we have the black and ethnic minority communities who are significantly not represented within policy arena and debates in advocacy advisory roles to Government and think tanks.
There is a fundamental need for women contributions in this group to address the additional disparities amongst the diverse communities, strongly from the Bangladeshi Older women and newly arrived immigrants with very little fluent language in English who also fall under the older people category. I strongly suspect their needs will be over shadowed by commanding men rather than have a mere few older women turning heads at the table while they try to please them nodding as they are the favoured as much as their very own son in laws in politics and power. As nothing is left spared with the spending review, pensions and benefits; I can only rely on these few women who are indisputably go-getting, outspoken and demanding rightfully their place, find themselves in the midst of discussions, to retain some voice at the top table for change.



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