Why two women organisations are joining forces to campaign against Brexit

Women organisations came together on Sunday 13th May to campaign for a people’s vote on the final Brexit repeal deal.

Our Future Our Choice, Women 4 Europe and Britain for Europe organised the rally at the European House in London.

The girls just want to have fundamental rights event featured several guest speakers, including Hampstead and Kilburn Labour MP Tulip Sadiq.

Nina Parker from Our Future Our Voice, said: “Equality between women and men is one the EU’s founding values. In fact the principle of equal pay was in the Treaty of Rome of 1957. Do we have an equivalent in the UK? No”.

She added: “Furthermore, fewer than 4,000 out of the 9,000 employers have published their gender pay gap so far. The EU Charter of Fundamental rights, soon to be obsolete, further enshrines equality in Article 23. Equality between women and men must be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay”.

Many of the advances made in employment law over the last 40-years, were through EU directives, including the right to paid maternity leave, shared parental leave and equal pay.

Rights such as equal treatment for part-time workers, many of whom are working mums, paid annual leave, domestic violence laws such as victims right directive and European protection order are enshrined in EU Law.

Once Britain leaves the block, those rights which were fought hard for, will be at risk.

Although the government’s EU withdrawal bill plans to convert current EU Law into UK legislation, the bill presently gives minister the power to repeal or amend the legislations.

The 2016 Brexit referendum results showed that 80% of women aged between 18-24 voted for remain, higher than any other group from both genders.

Brexit results female
Image credit: Suban Abdulla
Brexit referendum results- male
Image credit: Suban Abdulla

Conservative Brexit minister Lord Martin Callanan, who was appointed in October 2017 by Theresa May as Minister of State for Existing the European Union, previously criticised EU legislation such as pregnant workers directive and agency workers regulations.

Lord Callanan previously told the European Parliament in 2012: “There is one action we could take right now to show businesses our commitment to growth. Surely one of the best way for the EU to speed up growth is to scrap the employment and social affairs directorate in the commission, and repatriate its responsibilities to national governments”.

At present Brexit negotiations are focussed on creating a flexible and competitive single market, the Northern Ireland border, protecting EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU and women rights undiscussed.

In 2016 Gina Miller and investment manager and a philanthropist, sued the UK Government and won.  As a result Theresa May was forced to give Parliament a vote on triggering Article 50.

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