By Imogen Robinson
Since 2010, 86% of the burden of austerity has fallen on women, with black and ethnic minority women being hit the hardest.
The damage inflicted on the population by cuts to health and social services is such that it led an article in the BMJ Open to accuse the government of “economic murder”, suggesting the party’s austerity measures were responsible for 120,000 deaths.
The long term implications of cuts to vital services are particularly worrying, and all the more so when it comes to the health of women.
But why exactly is it women who are taking the brunt of the cuts? And what can we do to rectify this?
These are the questions The Femedic will put to the panel at our first event ‘How does austerity affect women’s health?’ on Thursday 22nd February in Moorgate, London.
Femedic founder Monica Karpinski will give a brief introduction, which will be followed by a panel discussion and audience Q&A.
Some high profile activists from policy groups and charities will speak at the event, including Frances Scott, founder of 50:50 Parliament, and Kimberly McIntosh, policy officer at Runnymeade Trust and Race on the Agenda (ROTA).
Emma Williams, from Women’s Budget Group, and Sarah Mulindwa, from 56 Dean Street, will also speak on the panel.
Gender and social inequalities, along with domestic abuse and violence against women, create a system of oppression that threatens women’s independence and potential. These are all factors which have acute impacts on women’s health.
The erosion of the welfare state is also more likely to effect women – it is women who are more likely to be single parents and to be carers for others.
Women’s refuges are closing, family planning centres are closing, unintended pregnancies look set to rise and child benefits have been cut.
Key issues which will be discussed at the event include how different groups of women are affected, how more women in positions of influence could change things, and how austerity is compounded by gender.
Further discussion will broach the wider impacts of austerity measures on women’s mental health, and what the economic consequences are of the impact of austerity on particularly vulnerable groups of women.
The event marks the first in a series of panel discussions The Femedic will be holding, with the aim of widening discussion surrounding women’s health and stimulating debate about issues that are often overlooked.
The event will be held at The Engine Room, Runway East Moorgate, 10 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1AF, kicking off at 6.30pm.
Tickets cost £5 plus fees, and can be purchased here.
If you are unwaged or on a low income, then please get in contact with The Femedic team who will be able to organise a ticket for you.