A new deal


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

A new deal

Nearly half of working women earn less than £5 an hour. Only one child in four can get a nursery place. The number of women MPs is going down, not up. Little wonder, after seven years of Blair's government, that female voters say they have lost faith in Labour. So what issues should it - and the other parties - be tackling if they want to woo women back before the general election? On the eve of its party conference, we present a manifesto of what women want from Labour

Early this summer there was gloomy news from the pollsters: women had fallen out of love with the government. The young were angry about the war, the elderly wanted pensions to match those of their husbands, the middle-aged felt disillusioned on several scores - health, education, their personal trust in the prime minister. The research, carried out by Mori and the Fawcett Society, made sober reading for the government - not just because women make up the majority of the electorate (52%), but because the Labour party might reasonably have assumed it had the women's vote nailed in the first place. Didn't Tony Blair come to power with a record 101 women MPs? Didn't he create a minister for women?
Yet here we are, on the eve of another Labour party conference, with not more but fewer Labour women MPs than in 1997 (95), and only one of the five women in Blair's original cabinet remaining (Margaret Beckett). Clare Short, Mo Mowlam, Estelle Morris and Harriet Harman have all served as cabinet ministers in the past seven years - all have resigned, been sacked, or stood down.
The women who won't be voting Labour in the next election say they are deeply sceptical of Blair's ability to make positive changes in their lives, and they are less optimistic than men about the future of the health service and the economy. Many of these women secured Blair's landslide in 1997.
So how might Labour entice back the women who have fallen out of love with it? We decided to put together a manifesto for the general election, a mission statement of those issues the next Labour government (because right now, no one else shows any sign of getting in) needs to prioritise to address the concerns of women.
Of course, many male voters are disaffected, too, and for some of the same reasons. So why a women's manifesto and not a men's? Because men are not underpaid and underrepresented to anything like the same extent. And because all the research shows that real equality is something most men want, too - equal pay, equal representation, an equal share in parenting.
What do you put in a women's manifesto? The issues about which women have particular concerns range from the availability of breast cancer screening to the difficulty of getting prams on public transport, from the criminalisation of prostitutes to whether extended paternity leave just means more time down the pub. Nor are they simply "women's issues" - a more equal society is one that benefits all of its citizens.
Of course, these proposals do not cover everything, not by a long chalk. But we wanted to be realistic, to focus on those things that would make a real difference to women's lives and that were eminently achievable. All of this will cost, but Labour could start raising the money through a fairer system of taxation - a hike of 1% on people earning more than £100,000. This government has made important steps in the right direction on several of these issues; on Monday the minister for women, Patricia Hewitt, said she hoped to put improved parental leave and greater rights to flexible working at the centre of a "radical, policy-rich manifesto". That would be a great start. But here are a few other things that need to be there, too.

by a long chalk - dalece
eminently - szczególnie, wybitnie
entice - nęcić, wabić
hike - tu: wzrost
landslide - miażdżące zwycięstwo
little wonder- nic dziwnego
nail - przydybać
parental leave - urlop rodzicielski
paternity leave -- urlop rodzicielski (ojca); maternity leave- urlop macierzyński
pollster - ankieter
pram - wózek dziecięcy
sack - wylać, wyrzucić z pracy
screening - badanie
stand down - rezygnować (na korzyść kogoś innego); ustępować
tackle - rozprawiać się, uporać się z
woo - zabiegać, ubiegać się

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