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09 May 2012
WRS STUC Congress 2012 Report

White Ribbon Scotland attended the 2012 STUC congress for the third year running.

This year it was held up in Inverness and we shared a stall with Scottish Women’s Aid. Thanks to everyone who signed the White Ribbon pledge and SWA Stop campaign, your support is greatly appreciated.

Margaret Boyd, the STUC Women’s Committee President, gave a keynote speech about the work the STUC is doing to address inequality in Scotland and highlight how Scottish, Westminster and local government’s policies negatively impact women. Margaret mentioned the forthcoming seminar on tackling domestic abuse within the workplace which the STUC is hosting with the cooperation of Zero Tolerance, Scottish Women’s Aid and White Ribbon Scotland. More details will be published in the near future, so if you are a trade unionist rep who has a role to play either strategically or practically, please watch this space. The complete speech is available at http://www.stuc.org.uk/women

Alex Salmond gave a speech and mentioned that the increase in Women’s unemployment was of enormous concern to the Scottish government. He said, “the STUC and the Scottish Government are working together to help women back to work by adopting the same model as for youth unemployment. The women’s unemployment summit will bring all parties together to find solutions to women’s unemployment. The Scottish Government is also extending the number of hours for child care funding, supporting parents in work, education and training”.

There was one motion at the conference with specific relevance to the White Ribbon Scotland Campaign. Motion 93 proposed by Dundee TUC was for Congress to note with grave concern the UK Government’s failure to sign the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention. The convention seeks to combat violence against women and domestic violence. The link to the convention is here: http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/standardsetting/violence/default_en.asp .

Hamish Drummond, from Dundee TUC spoke on the motion and said “I’m not proud to live in a country not signing up to convention, its not right to live in a rich country that hasn’t signed up, and  it’s not right that the domestic violence budget has been cut”

Sharon Edward of the PCS seconded the motion and said “its totally unacceptable that a quarter of women have suffered domestic abuse sometime in their lifetime; for the UK not to sign the convention is a disgrace and the UK government should be held accountable for not signing. I would encourage members to sign the petition”.

The motion was carried.

You can sign the petition for the UK government to sign up to the convention at

 http://action.goingtowork.org.uk/page/s/tell-the-uk-government-to-match-its-rhetoric-on-violence-against-women

White Ribbon Scotland thanks the STUC for the invitation to attend this year and looks forward to working with its affiliates over the coming year. Information on the upcoming seminar will be distributed shortly – any workplace reps who would like to attend or receive training from White Ribbon Scotland please contact us .

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In Scotland in 2011-12 rape reports increased by 13%

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