Posts Tagged ‘sisterhood’

Sisterhood is not dead. It is alive and kicking and living in Labour.

13/03/2011, 06:00:18 PM

by Ray Filar

As a relatively new Labour party member, attending the annual women’s conference – celebrating the centenary of international women’s day – was a first insider’s foray into the challenges discussed by women in party politics. The day seemed to structure itself: talks could hardly do anything other than concentrate on the systematic attack on women that is Tory-Lib Dem policy, and women’s continued under-representation in government and politics. It doesn’t take much to connect these two themes. More surprising, though, was an explicit focus on sisterhood. Throughout the day the speakers repeatedly entreated the audience as “sisters” to support pro-women initiatives. Though there was little open reference to feminism and feminists, barely a scratch on the surface of the conference was needed to reveal the underlying message: sisterhood is still powerful.

This is big news because even recently it hasn’t seemed that way. Only two years ago, Harriet Harman proposed a policy at the time so revolutionary, so unthinkable, that a riotous queue (with John Prescott at the head) formed, its sole purpose to decry her suggestion as self-serving nonsense. What was the proposal? Only this: that never again should Labour leadership be a male-only province. Rather, the leadership should always be comprised of one man, one woman, whether this be a male leader and female deputy leader, or vice versa. (more…)

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