In July, I spoke at an event organised by Islington Labour Party women’s forum, called ‘Keeping women and girls safe in Islington’. There were various speakers from community organisations, the council and the police, plus workshops on domestic abuse, sexual harassment, hate crime, gangs and bullying. My job was to speak about harassment and violence against women on public transport.
Violence Against Women
I fancied some titilating photos
so I went on an upskirting hunt
I didn't really care about consent,
that's if I'm being blunt
I came across Sir Christopher
and thought I'd have a punt
I'd capture a peek of his private parts,
I'd chortle and I'd grunt
It seemed to me a great idea,
a harmless and witty stunt
But what was the image my camera showed?
Harvey Weinstein is an addict
Harvey, he just has to have it
Harvey's checked into a clinic
Not convinced? You heartless cynic
Harvey can not help himself
Please pray for Harvey's failing health
RMT's delegation to the European Transport workers' Federation Women's Conference comprised Mary Jane Herbison, Michelle Rodgers, Lorna Tooley and Janine Booth. The conference was, unfortunately, squeezed into a short time on a single day. It still managed to do its business and hear some interesting and relevant contributions.
Report on the ETF Women's Committee's work 2013-17
This is the report I gave to ETF Women's Conference about the previous four years campaigning against violence against women ...
The 2013 ETF Women's Conference decided that opposing violenece against women transport workers would be one of its priorities for the next four years.
Another round of drinks, guv'nor
Get the cash from the missus -
You know she's good for it.
She's got to be good for something, eh lads?
When time's called
he lurches home
to settle accounts.
and she pays for it.
Bystander. Standing by.
Something in my eye.
I didn't see it. I couldn't say.
Not my business anyway.
Maybe he hit her.
Not really sure.
And I don't think I saw
what happened before.
Maybe she provoked him.
What's a bloke
supposed to do?
I didn't see.
I never knew.
She's marked her again and the scars will preserve it
She's causing her pain 'cause she thinks she deserves it
She isn't a file on a case worker's shelf
She isn't self-harming, she's harming herself
Hyphen, inversion may make it sound neater
Straight like the burns from the bars on the heater
She's the subject, the object, the hurter, the hurt
The rejecter, the reject, the victim, the perp
"If a man ever raised his hand to me
I'd be gone."
Roars and applause from the studio audience
Put the shame-faced guest in her place
And the waves of clapping
Wash the blame
From him to her
- France - Women trade unionists have been concentrating on increasing women's involvement in the unions, and on campaigning against violence against women. At Gare du Nord railway station, African women cleaners are often sexually assaulted by male bosses. Some men say that it does not matter, that women are making it up, or that they 'have a chip on their shoulder'.
- Italy - There is very good legislation on women's rights - for example on maternity - but the economic and cultural situation means that women are still disadvantaged. Italy has the lowest rate of women's employment in Europe, and needs investment in public services and industries to create jobs for women. As the government cuts welfare services, it relies on women to act as unpaid carers.
- Belgium - In the Port of Antwerp, an agreement has been signed by the union and the employer regarding women's employment on the docks. this emphasises equal recruitment policies rather than quotas. But the employers need challenging to ensure that they abide by the agreement.
- Netherlands - Some men - even some union men - say that women who work on the docks are taking men's jobs. And they say that if you do a 'man's job' then you must go along with 'men's humour' ie. sexist banter. As a minority, women are abused, whether through 'jokes' or touching. The solution is not new laws but the enforcement of existing laws, but the Inspectorate is understaffed. Migrant women workers are taken on in jobs with only a few hours work, and then told that they must give sexual favours to get more work. Women are not confident to complain about abuse, so the union is using organisers from other countries to speak to women in their own language.
- UK - I reported on the ScotRail victory and ongoing fight to defend guards' jobs; the abuse of women cleaners; the impact of ticket office clsures and de-staffing of stations.
- Many countries - A recurring theme in reports from the various countries is that European Union legislation is useful, but that it needs to be monitored and implemented, with sanctions against companies that do not abdie by gender equality policies. Employers find ways around legislation, so legislation is not enough.