Amnesty photo action - Khun Dee De released

Vera has been calling for the release of Burmese political prisoner Khun Dee De for two years, during an Amnesty International campaign in which each campaigner focussed on an individual prisoner. She was pleased to hear from Amnesty International that he is one of the political prisoners freed under the regime’s new direction. Amnesty International issued a press release which Vera fully endorses:

Amnesty Press Release Burma: Political prisoner release ‘major step’ but gates must open ‘even wider’

Posted: 13 January 2012

The release of at least 130 political prisoners in Burma

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Tory 'sisterhood'? What a joke

Vera and Kate Green MP replied to an article in last week’s Observer alleging that some women Tory MPs might be concerned about the Coalition’s impact on women.

Here is the text of the letter, which appeared in the publication on 15th January 2012:

Tory ‘sisterhood’? What a joke

Conservative women’s proclaimed support for equality (“The new blue sisterhood“, Review) fails to convince when their own government’s track record is examined.

Female unemployment is at a 23-year high as a result of government policies, while cuts to

continue reading Tory 'sisterhood'? What a joke

Vera's speech at the Fabians New Year Conference 2012

Vera was delighted to speak at Fabians New Year Conference 14th January 2012 In the morning breakout group: Women The Crisis and Politics Vera shared a platform with Polly Toynbee, Seema Malhotra MP and David Coats, Research Fellow of the Smith Institute. “The first point I wish to make is that we discuss the financial crisis every day and when we do so we should always have in our minds that all economics is gendered. I am grateful to Professor Sylvia Walby who has done considerable work on this topic So, for example when there is a tax rise,

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Vera spoke at the AAFDA Annual Conference 2012

Vera spoke at the AAFDA Annual Conference in January 2012. View some local press coverage.

Women turned away from refuge shelters told to sleep in Occupy camps

The Labour Commission on Women’s Safety began gathering evidence just before Christmas. My colleagues, MPs Kate Green, Stella Creasy and I, met in London with twelve leading national women’s organisations to scope out what our inquiry needs to cover.

The shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, has asked us to produce a provisional report by International Women’s Day in March about whether, and if so how, coalition decisions, policies and legislation are impacting on women’s safety.

Read the rest of Vera’s piece in Left Foot Forward.

The coalition does not understand women's safety

From changing the definition of domestic abuse to turning off street lights, recent policies are contradictory and harmful… Read Vera’s piece in the Guardian’s Comment is Free section

The Labour Women's Safety Commission

Making women safe is something on which the Labour Government spent time and resources. Now, the well-known concern that the Coalition Government is hurting women disproportionately in the purse compared to the impact on the male wallet, has turned a more worrying corner. Because the cuts in public spending, legal aid, local government and the police – to mention just a few – appear not to be being assessed for their cumulative impact on women’s personal safety.

Street lights being turned off and poorer public transport make women anxious, whilst police cuts could lead to fewer specialist officers to

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Vera to Chair the Labour Commission on Women's Safety

At the invitation of Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, Vera is Chair of the Labour Commission on Women’s Safety.

It will investigate whether Coalition cuts and policy changes are starting to endanger women’s safety. With cuts to street lighting and public transport, unstaffed trains, women’s violence services under pressure, legal aid cuts and damaging proposals such as halving sentences for rape guilty pleas, there is a concern that this boys’ public school-run Government has neither cultural affinity understanding of women’s isues. Are women being put into danger?

The Commission will be going nationwide to find out what is happening

continue reading Vera to Chair new Labour Commission

Legal aid bill threat to abused women

Read Vera’s letter to the Guardian

Family Law legal aid cuts will add to court costs and license more domestic violence

Vera tells the Huffington Post why Family Law legal aid cuts will add to court costs and license more domestic violence.

Read the article in the Huffington Post.