The Decade of Gutsy, Feisty Women begins!
Happy 2020 to all Feisty Women!
Welcome to a new decade Feisties!
We hope everyone had a good break. Diving right into the year ahead, we are using this first bulletin of 2020 to ask you, our supporters, to spread the word further and ask others to get behind our campaign.
Those of you who have been with us on this journey, know that this is going to be a long game - with many twists and turns along the way - but we know what we want to achieve and with the support of our members, we will continue to disrupt, to question and to challenge the status quo - something has gone wrong and we want to call those responsible to account, to make it right.
We need to be bold, ambitious and gutsy - just like the women in the recently published book by Hilary and Chelsea Clinton - simply entitled The Book of Gutsy Women.
The book has numerous examples of women throughout history, who, when faced with injustice, with the default positions of power and money going to men in all walks of life, continued to be doggedly determined to right that wrong and fight for a woman’s right to be equal with a man.
WHAT WE MUST DO
Feisty Women believe that a remedy can and must be found for the failure of officials at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to comply with the Public Service Equality Duty (PSED) in relation to the 2011 Pension Reform Act.
We believe the only way to do that is for women to accept that the government is not going to change primary legislation - ie the three Pension Acts of 1995, 2007 and 2011.
Other campaign groups continue to challenge this but all of our research leads us to believe that no government will overturn or amend these acts.
We believe that the the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) needs to recognise that the issue at stake is not state pension age for women but an equalities culture in the UK that has become dysfunctional. Modern-day, sex-blind theories that attempt to explain inequality for women are failing to produce solutions that work.
CHILDBEARING SHOULD NOT LEAD TO INEQUALITY
A simple truth has been lost - that the majority of women are unable to fulfil their potential in the workplace and society because they have the children.
We do now have equality in law, but the key piece of information which was not considered when the changes to pension age were made is that this cohort of women, did not start from the same place as men and did not have equal rights to men when they began their working careers in the late sixties and seventies.
We make no apologies for continuing to stress the double burden borne by fifties-born women who were the first to go out to work full time and continue to be the main carers for their children. These women are now paying the price for that burden through poorer health and life expectancy than men.
The trend oft-quoted and used in part to substantiate the pension changes is that women live longer than men. That may have been true at the time of the first act of 1995 but it is certainly not true now - that trend has in fact reversed.
The Equality Act of 2010 makes the assumption that all people must be treated equally - but we contend that since women were not equally treated throughout their lives, it cannot be fair or just to assume such equality to substantiate changes which affect their lives in their later lives.
COME TO THE FEISTY CONFERENCE
So, how do we move things forward?
Well, we have the Scottish Government’s equalities minister Christina McKelvie MSP coming along to our second annual conference on February 29 at Discovery Point Dundee. We have already begun a conversation with her regarding the pension/equality issue.
We want to engage as many women - and men - as possible, of all ages in this campaign for justice.
It is a different route than the one others have taken and it may not be able achieve a remedy in the short term for the pension injustice. But we believe this is a fight for equality for women that must be fought and won. We must ensure our daughters do not find themselves in this same position in 2050 when they come to pension age.
In addition look out for a petition which we plan to set up this month, which we hope to get as many signatures as possible for, to get the EHRC to take our campaign seriously and to look at our evidence.
First and foremost though, please come along to the conference.
Go to our eventbrite booking page to book your place - link below, or if you’d rather pay cash or cheque, please make cheques for £10 out to Feisty Women( or send us a tenner!) to our registered address, which is:Feisty Women c/o Community Regeneration Team, Arthurstone Library, Arthurstone Terrace, Dundee DD4 6RT.