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‘Determination for change’

Unite Durham activists celebrate IWD with action
Ryan Fletcher, Thursday, March 8th, 2018


Unite Community activists in Durham are highlighting the disproportionate effect of Tory cuts on women during International Women’s Day today (March 8).

 

Unite Community Durham branch activists are holding women’s workshops throughout the day on welfare rights and Universal Credit at the County Durham Socialist Clothing Bank.

 

Branch secretary Dawn Wilson said members were inspired by the recent explosion of women’s rights activism, exemplified by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

 

“This year, International Women’s Day comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. Sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women has captured headlines and public discourse, propelling a rising determination for change,” said Wilson.

 

“International Women’s Day 2018 is an opportunity to transform this momentum into action, to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and celebrate the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realise their full potential.”

 

Women and austerity

Wilson added, “In recognition that a hugely disproportionate amount of the Tories’ austerity agenda has fallen on women’s shoulders we will be hosting workshops on welfare rights and Universal Credit.”

 

Members will also be handing out sanitary products and conducting seminars on tackling period poverty.

 

The clothing bank, set up in 2014 with help from Unite Community, provides assistance to unemployed and vulnerable people throughout the area, as well as those in low paid work and people struggling with welfare cuts and benefit sanctions.

 

In 2016, volunteers at the clothing bank were presented with the Durham County Council Chairman’s Award – the county’s highest civic honour.

 

Unite Community regional coordinator John Coan praised the activists for their hard work and dedication.

 

He said, “Dawn, along with all the other Unite Community activists in the area, tirelessly provide help and assistance to those in their community who need it.

 

“It’s no surprise that the Durham activists are doing their bit for gender equality on International Women’s Day. Helping others is what they do everyday of the year. They are a credit to the union and to their community.”

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