Did you know that the EU has a motto? “United in Diversity” – it captures EU values that resonate with us in the Labour Party. A quick EU myth-busting quiz got women thinking on Saturday with Clare Moody our elected MEP (see the photo of Diane Bunyan (Chair), Karin Smyth M.P. with Clare at the meeting). Click here to take the quiz.. (drawn from info published by Clare Moody, Labour in Europe and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament).
There was lots of energy and buzz from the women participating in the South Bristol Labour Women’s Network last Saturday where Clare talked to us about women’s issues in the EU Referendum. We heard how women would be hit hard by an EU exit. The widely predicted economic downturn will disproportionately affect low paid, part time and insecure employment – work dominated by the same women who will also juggle increasingly expensive family budgets.
We now know about the European Court of Justice protection for part time workers who are no longer excluded from occupational pension schemes - and the backdated payments for those women whose Trade Unions had to take this challenge to Europe before getting support. It was fascinating to hear about the EU’s culture of consensus working, interrogative approaches to new legislation and gender budgeting - measuring the impact and outcome of EU budget spending on women.
For women's sake, we need to Remain - What can we do now?
Our group work and panel discussion with Clare, Karin Smyth MP and Diane Bunyan (Chair of Bristol South Labour Party) focussed on what we can do now before the EU referendum. Our top tips are...
- Have lots of short, informal discussions with people you don’t know well or at all. Make it your mission. In work, the supermarket, playgroup, school, college, pub, bus queue. Did you know that women form the largest section of undecided voters? We can achieve a lot with these women. Encourage them, and others, to Vote Remain.
- Get your posters up and share info on Face Book. It’s reach is extensive.
- Our councillors and Mayor to publish ‘What has the EU done for Bristol?’ in the local press
- Stay positive – Karin shared how much support she is getting for Remain in local groups
- Remember 99% of the UK budget is spent by our government – the remaining 1% will not solve the issues that the Out Campaign complains so much about.