This is what we want: The WPUK manifesto

This is what we want. Download or share the WPUK manifesto.

Economic status

Concrete steps to achieve equal pay, such as compulsory equal pay audits, the collection of sex disaggregated data and better enforcement under the Equality Act 2010.

Introduce a Citizens’ Pension, based on the Dutch tax-funded model, payable at state pension age to each long-term resident and set at the Minimum Income Standard.

Free universal childcare.

Investment in social infrastructure, including childcare and adult social care, to boost the economy and to support women’s decision to work outside the home.

Improved access to the labour market and an end to occupational segregation.

Prohibition of redundancy in pregnancy and maternity; increased rates of Statutory Maternity Pay and Maternity Allowance, the right to breastfeed at work, and reinstatement of Sure Start grants.

Stronger rights to flexible working.

An overhaul of Universal Credit including: ending the family cap that leaves children without welfare support and mothers forced to disclose rape or coercive control; the wait for payments; allowing for separate payments by default; improving work incentives for second earners and restoring the disregard for Maternity Allowance.  

Restoring the link between Local Housing Allowance and average rents.

Migrant Women

Recognise that all migrant women who have experienced domestic abuse – regardless of their immigration status – should have equal access to the welfare system, to the courts and to all the other social and legal tools which provide protection and facilitate access to justice.

Institute a coherent and comprehensive strategy on abused migrant women that includes ending ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’; extending the Domestic Violence Rule and the Destitution and Domestic Violence Concession; providing adequate asylum support and protection in line with human rights law and ending the ‘hostile environment’ policy.

An end to violence, harassment and abuse of women and girls

Recognising prostitution as sexually abusive exploitation; implementation of the abolitionist model; criminalising those who exploit prostituted people (including pimps and sex buyers); decriminalising the prostituted, providing practical and psychological exiting support.

Ratification of the Istanbul Convention.

Access to local community based, specialist single-sex support to women and girls at all risk and need levels.

Sustainable investment from national government, proportionate to demand, to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG). This should take into account the multiple forms of disadvantage and deprivation faced by some women, including specialist and single sex support services, including services run by and for women and BME women, migrant women, disabled women, lesbians, and services tackling FGM and other harmful practices.

Tackling the harms of pornography and clear penalties for image-based sexual abuse.

Improved access to healthcare

Free access for all women, including women in Northern Ireland and migrant women, to NHS services, including maternity care and abortion services; the right to bodily autonomy.

Funding of research and national collection of data on women’s medical needs and the provision of woman centred healthcare.

Implementation of the NHS strategy of Elimination of Mixed Sex Accommodation in hospitals.

Commitment to uphold right to request, and have request respected, a female clinician, carer or support worker.

Female-only services for those with drug and alcohol problems.

Education and training

Statutory provision of fully-funded and properly resourced inclusive Relationships & Sex Education taught by trained education staff.

A concerted campaign to challenge harmful gender and other stereotypes.

Include women’s history and women role models as part of the statutory curriculum.

Address under-representation of girls in STEM and other male-dominated subjects.

Restore funding for adult education, Further Education, English as a Second Language, Higher Education.

Robust defence of human right to freedom of speech in academia.

Take steps to end sexualised violence against girls and women in education, and training teachers to tackle VAWG in schools, colleges and universities.

Law and criminal justice system

For a woman-centred approach

As a minimum, protect the human rights and laws we currently enjoy as European citizens.

Strengthen the Equality Act by restoring the statutory questionnaire, section 40 and the power of tribunals to make wider recommendations and enact Section 1 to compel action to reduce socio-economic disadvantage.

Enshrine UN Convention to End Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) into UK law.

The right to bodily autonomy including a change to UK abortion law to make abortion available on the request of the woman.

Remove barriers to tribunal system including extending time limit and increasing awards.

Properly resource the EHRC to ensure effective oversight and enforcement of the Equality Act by including clear guidance on the existing legal protections for single-sex services and a commitment to strengthening them where necessary.

Better treatment by police and criminal justice system of women survivors of male violence and harassment.

Better support and protection for women prisoners, including pregnant women and women with mental health issues.

Implement the Corston Report and reduce the imprisonment of women.

Effective resourcing and implementation of community-based sentencing for women offenders. Where women are housed in the prison estate, accommodation must be single sex to protect their safety and dignity.

End the detention of children and pregnant asylum seekers.

Restore Civil Legal Aid as well as aid for all immigration and asylum cases.

Provide adequate levels of legal aid for criminal cases.

Representation and participation in public life/media/culture/politics/sport

Increased representation of women (especially black and minority ethnic, working class, disabled, older, younger and lesbian women) in all walks of public life, including political activities and the labour movement to include the use of sex-based mechanisms such as All Women Shortlists.

Reinstatement of UK Women’s National Commission to ensure women’s voices are heard in public debate and policy making.

Action to end sexist, demeaning, objectifying, stereotypical images of women in media, arts, advertising and the political sphere.

Proactive encouragement of women to participate, and be supported, in accessing sports, leisure and the arts.

Women should be supported to pursue freedom of association, as enshrined in articles 20 and 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including meeting to discuss the impact of public policy on women’s rights.

Address the male default in design & research to ensure the needs of women are properly addressed.

You can read our original demands and our resolutions for 2019 here.