The progress on equality is at risk. Gender issues are at the back of a long Brexit queue. If we don’t fight for them, we lose, and we lose fast.
Some may have forgotten that we are mid-celebration of Women’s right to vote in Britain... awkwardly coupled with the thunder-stealing topic on everyone’s lips, aka the demise of our country, aka Brexitshit. So, let me remind those that, in the middle of this blurry celebration, Westminster owes it to us — the 50.7% of the British population — to deliver when certain asks are made. One such ask will take place on the day MP’s return from holiday.
Diving straight into the action, the effortlessly cool MP and champion of women’s rights, Rupa Huq MP🗳️ for Ealing Central and Acton, is set to hold the Government to account in an old school freestyle of debate in the Mother of Parliaments.
About what you may ask? If it is not clear from the above; “women’s rights”. Specifically, “women’s rights at risk in Brexit Britain”. Brexit, it cannot be denied, has thus far felt male’agendered and caked in testosterone...
On our right, we have Boris Johnson🗳️ throwing a tantrum in Chequers and resigning after not getting his way (cry us a river), and on the left, we have Jeremy Corbyn🗳️, cross-armed, refusing to accept that we are not in the seventies.
And then there’s Nigel Farage🗳️, foraging for fame right and centre — the centre being London... A man who, from the Tower of London, can see every constituency that rejected him. Yet, this pinnacle of patriarchy still thinks he has a chance in the running — Farage, you belong on your Yacht, far out at sea!
Unbeknown to many — because, why would we know, it’s not as if the Government has ever sung the EU’s praises in the 40 years we’ve contributed — UK Employment law is largely made up of EU law, much of which safeguards women in work. Why? Because part-timer, casual and agency workers’ rights, are women, not least because of childcare duties. EU law balances the inherent imbalance between employer and employee. Hard-won rights of maternity and paternity leave, and indeed pregnancy discrimination all came from the EU, and we have no guarantee that we will uphold these and future advances after March 29th.
Sickeningly, NHS nurses from EU nations are already leaving in droves, and the care sector (mostly female) is being hollowed out as a profession that UK-borns are eschewing. In such situations, it is often women who bear the burden as unofficial carers in any case.
Does anyone seriously believe that the men driving Brexit, Johnson🗳️ and Gove🗳️, Rees-Mogg🗳️, Farage🗳️ and Raab🗳️ (what a poignantly patriarchal bunch!) have that as a priority for their post-Brexit Britain? These are just some points Rupa Huq🗳️ will lodge when she debates the Government on Tuesday 4 September📍.
The furore surrounding David Davis🗳️ (yet another fickle resignee) and his perfunctory “impact assessments” emphasised the absence of any gender impact assessments conducted by the whatsoever. That is until the Women’s Budget Group took in under their wing to do the work of the Government. Much like, Gina Miller, who put on the opposition’s hat when no other party contested the Government’s attempted power grab to invoke Article 50 without Parliament’s consent... and ironically Theresa May🗳️ had the audacity to sing to the high hills that Brussels stole our sovereignty, when actually Theresa, it is you and the current Government who attempted to steal Parliament’s sovereignty.
It is becoming starkly clear, as we push back the prickly thorns of austerity, that our rights are at risk and that the Leave camp and the Government have offered no alternatives to what we will lose.
So, here we are, celebrating the centenary of female suffrage and Brexit is yet another obstacle to the attainment of equality. We must fight to get a vote on the final deal, we owe it to the memory of the suffragettes too, to use it. And we owe it to ourselves to get that vote, safeguard our rights and reverse the catastrophic path we are on. In the left-hand corner, we have Rupa Huq, fighting for our rights on 4 September, and on the right, we have Theresa May propped up by the DUP... ding ding ding.🔷
Women’s rights after the UK leaves the EU,
with Rupa Huq, Westminster Hall debate,
1:00pm – 1:30pm.
Tweet this story now:
(This is an original piece, first published by the author in PoliticsMeansPolitics.com)