By Cllr Mandy Clare
As we approach the deadline for CLPs to submit their nominations for the new National Women’s Committee, their chosen delegates and motions for Women’s Conference, our hearts go out to those subsisting under the bombardment, illegal occupation and further encroachment within Gaza that is yet again, infuriatingly, being re-framed and explained away by the British media as an even-handed exchange of violence and intimidation.
We face a potential third wave of COVID, knowing that whether or not our Prime Minister said “Let the bodies pile high in their thousands”, that is precisely what he has allowed to happen.
All of this, before we even begin to consider just what on earth has happened to our Party.
For Women’s Conference, only one policy motion can be submitted by each CLP and we could be forgiven for thinking it seems impossible to know where to start, with so many catastrophic injustices unfolding week by week. From this side of the Grassroots Labour Women (#GLW5) campaign, everyone has been working flat out to ensure that as many comrades as possible know that Women’s Conference deadlines are approaching and ensure that we get as many CLPs as possible to register delegates that will vote for the full team of five:
and Momentum’s candidate Solma Ahmed, for the sixth place.
It may be that this call to action on motions comes rather late in the day, given that the deadline is midday on 26th May – but some CLPs may still have their meetings planned for between now and then and you may not have submitted yours yet. Getting a decent spread of quality left motions through to Women’s Conference could not be more important in these turbulent times of violence, misrepresentation and uncertainty, not least because of the very specific ways they impact on women and children.
In any event, only up to two policy motions may be sent to the subsequent full conference, so most will not make it through, although many can still be included as composites under related headings and all that make it to conference help to highlight issues that are important to members.
If we go into a third wave of COVID within the UK, merely mirroring the Conservatives’ failure to learn, and fail to adapt our policy or approach in any meaningful way to show the electorate how we would propose we meet the changed world we now find ourselves in, we can only expect more of the contempt we seem to have been met with in the most recent round of local elections. We need to use the platform of Women’s Conference to raise the profile of as many issues affecting women as possible and to prepare the ground for COVID-responsive motions to full Conference, to show that we as a Party recognise the changed world we are in as a result of COVID and that we have taken on board the lessons learned so far.
These are four motions that I have drafted with support from comrades that respond to the COVID crisis and learn the lessons of its impacts on women and children:
1. Prioritising Women and the Poverty Emergency in a Post-Covid Economy
2. Improving representation of low income, working class women
3. Support for women threatened with fines and imprisonment
4. Valuing women as carers and mothers
The full wording for all four motions is here.
If you are a delegate/hoping to be, then come along to our delegates’ briefing on Monday 14th June, 7.30pm and a pre-conference fringe event on Thursday 24 June, 7.30pm with our Grassroots Labour Women election candidates and other speakers – for details see the CLPD website’s Yellow Pages Women’s Conference – issue 2 to be published in early June … keep-in-touch here
Let us know if you have elected left delegates to Women’s Conference, and share their details (with their permission) so that we can be in touch about compositing, voting and fringe arrangements by completing the form at sign up for updates here.
… and don’t forget to follow our #GLW5 team on Twitter @Pam4HarrowEast @ComradeChoppy @Ekua4Hulme @SocialistMandy @Tricia12Duncan and Momentum’s @solma_ahmed for further Women’s Conference updates and support.
Mandy Clare is Labour Councillor for Winsford Dene in Cheshire West and Chester and the Leader’s Champion for Poverty and Inequality.
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