According to the Labour Party website the Labour Party will try to achieve the following if they retain power at the 2010 general election on May 6th:

Labour is the Party of equality for women. We will make a genuine difference to the fairness faced by women in their everyday lives. We will support women with action on violence, with a fairer deal in the workplace, with support balancing a career with home life, with action to ensure they are as secure in their retirement as men, and with better rights to fair treatment from public services and in political life. We believe that the right to choose a lifestyle and a way of life is as important for women in the 21st century as it has ever been – and that breaking down the barriers and discrimination that can prevent women having this choice is at the heart of what a Labour government can offer women in Britain.

Because violence against women condemns too many to a life of fear – and because it is fundamentally unfair that women should not feel safe on our streets – we are committed to tackling violence against women across the board. We have strengthened the law through the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004, and improved how the police, prosecutors and courts handle domestic violence cases.

Because in the past our pension system has failed to recognise the contribution women make to society outside of the workplace and because women face unfairness in the pensions system as they are far more likely to take a career break than men, we will recognise the break many people take to bring up children or care for others.

We will re-link the basic State Pension to earnings in 2012 and we are reforming it so that women who have brought up children or care for others have greater entitlement. Our reforms mean a reduction in the number of years of work and of National Insurance Contributions needed to qualify for a full State Pension on retirement and we will remove the current minimum contribution conditions. This will vastly improve outcomes for women who are more likely to take time out from work and from paying NICS (or who spend significant periods of time caring for loved ones). As a result of reform around three quarters of women reaching State Pension age are expected to be entitled to a full basic State Pension by 2010 compared to half without reform. This is expected to increase to 90 per cent by 2025, parity with men for the first time in history.

Women face many more barriers to fairness in the workplace due to both overt discrimination and also secondary barriers including the difficulty in balancing caring responsibilities and work. Today, as more women want to balance work and family life as well as caring responsibilities, then supporting families who face increased pressures is more important than ever.

We are committed to supporting women overcome those barriers. We have championed parental leave, flexible working for parents and greater childcare provision and we will go further as we work to make life easier for Britain’s parents. We will expand free nursery provision to three and four year olds making 15 hours a week available from this September and we are rolling out free childcare to two year olds so that more than 60,000 will benefit.

We have introduced longer paid maternity leave, paid paternity leave and new rights for parents and carers to request flexible working, potentially benefiting 10.5 million people. In coming years we will allow fathers and mothers to decide how they will use maternity and paternity leave in the second six months of the child’s life allowing parents to make the best use of leave entitlements and allowing mothers support through fathers to return to work if they choose to.

We will outlaw discrimination against carers who face barriers in work or other walks of life through association with someone who requires care – most often women. Furthermore, the Equality Act will allow employment tribunals to make rulings that affect a firm or an industry as a whole rather than simply the individual case, allowing women to benefit from rulings which would make working life fairer for them. And we will introduce compulsory pay transparency in the workplace to show the gap between men and women in pay if sufficient voluntary progress has not been made by 2013 and the powers to enforce this have been provided for in the Equality Act. The Act will also allow the use of public procurement to improve equality and will extend the use of positive action in the workplace so that employers can choose to make their workforce more diverse when selecting between two job candidates who are equally suitable and will extend the power of employment tribunals.

We will also continue to use positive action to increase the number of women in politics. Labour has led the way with more women MPs than three times all of the opposition women MPs combined and throughout the post war era have led the way on gender equality fighting for a fair deal for women in the workplace, in the home and in society as a whole.

Labour Party Women Policy :

I would be interested to hear both positive and negative views on Labour’s Women policies in the comments below?

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