#NUT18 Fringe Report by Sarah Bedwell

Kiri Tunks, new NEU NUT Section President, spoke of ongoing, still ‘normalised’ sexism in schools that needs to be challenged – see guidance in the report ”It’s Just Banter”. 

Speakers from Northern Ireland told us movingly about the campaign, as a Trade Union and Workplace Issue, to support female members and work against Amendment 8, which restricts abortion rights – to the point of making abortion illegal and subject to up to life imprisonment. There was recognition of parallel issues in the  position in England around women’s reproductive issues generally – and those of us who undertaken casework supporting 50+year old women will know that these are workplace issues here too.

The campaign “No More Page Three” and its success was described. So too was the work that still needs to be done to improve the status of women, by giving much more due recognition of all their real accomplishments, rather than the still too common objectification seen, for example, in some print media.

Muslim schoolgirls from Bristol described their “Grl2Grl” campaign and support group, already international, to empower all young women.

The “Women’s Lives Matter” support group in South Yorkshire described the work they have done helping women facing violence. The impact of the neo-liberal austerity agenda on support services for women was graphically shared – as too the hope that a Corbyn- government as a necessary remedy!