Green conference to consider radical policies for women in business

11 March 2009

At the Green Party's spring conference in Blackpool, party leader Dr Caroline Lucas MEP will propose a motion on workplace equality.

The motion will note that women working fulltime in the UK are paid 17% less than men. And according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission's "Sex and Power 2008" survey, the percentage of female directors has stalled at 11%, and fallen in a number of categories.

To help tackle this, the new Green policy would require:

  • Medium and large companies to undertake equal pay audits that compare the earnings of their employees, and to take action to redress
  • Legal changes to make it much easier for women to take equal pay cases to court, and to allow women to take such cases as a group, with the support of
    their unions.
  • Significant funding to be put into encouraging girls and women to consider a broader range of careers.
  • The law to follow Norway's in requiring that companies listed on the Stock Exchange have 40% of their board members being female within five years of
    the date of the passing of the legislation.

A separate motion intended to improve women's rights in the UK would ensure major improvements in NHS pre- and post-natal care, including a full range of birth options and the right to a single midwide throughout.

Other motions on women's issues will include:

  • A motion to help combat domestic abuse, starting with "respect" training in schools.
  • A motion to extend the right to asylum for women and girls, to include asylum for those who would be forced to undergo forced marriage or genital mutilation were they denied asylum.

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