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Women

Women make up more than half the human race, yet - along with children - we are a majority of the world's poor and disadvantaged.

In Britain women's pay still averages only two-thirds that of men, and in many cases only 50%. In the home, women still bear most of the burden of housework and childcare, as well as looking after others - all unpaid labour. This burden has been increased in the past 26 years with the attacks on welfare services and the way the government has implemented 'Care in the Community'.

Meanwhile, violence, pornography and sexual exploitation continue unabated. If anything, there has been a shift backwards over the past 26 years in ideas about women's dignity, independence and freedom.

Socialist Labour supports and promotes women's equality within our own Party and is committed to the following measures that would benefit all women:

In the workplace: equal pay and conditions including for part-time workers, and a minimum wage to bring all low-paid workers out of poverty; flexible maternity/paternity leave on full pay; paid leave for women and men to care for sick dependants.

At home: policies at work and elsewhere that enable men to be equally involved with women in child care, caring for others and domestic labour. Socialist Labour believes in providing real options for child care, ranging from free, good quality nurseries to financial support that enables parents to care for children at home.

All communities should provide good quality care and support for elderly, disabled and mentally ill people - not only for these people, but to relieve the caring burden carried by so many women.

The right to choose: women must have the freedom to choose whether or not to have children without being punished for their choice. There must be free, safe and reliable contraception available to women on the NHS, and free abortion on demand. The NHS must be able to meet women's health needs and make available health information we can understand.

Education and training: women and girls must have equal access to education and training. That includes creche facilities for parents returning to work or study after time off to care for children. In our schools we must ensure an end to all sex differentiation in the subjects offered to girls and boys.

Safety from sexual/domestic violence: society must ensure that women can move through their lives without fear. Domestic and sexual violence are problems for society as a whole and should be treated with utmost seriousness. Women who are victimised by either problem should have access if necessary to safe re-housing. Sexual harrassment in the workplace also creates misery for many women and we want the promotion of workplace policies to eradicate it.