“I don’t think anything prepares you for the sheer enthusiasm that met us when we arrived at the conference hall for the conference. There were over three hundred women, who were all there to make a difference – to other women and themselves.
“The conference was chaired by Sue Ferns who gave an invigorating welcome speech. The first afternoon was taken up with a panel debate with contributions from Frances O’Grady TUC general secretary, Gloria de Piero MP, shadow minister for women and equalities and Alison Garnham of the Child Poverty Action Group. Vicky Knight of the TUC women’s committee chaired this session.
“In the two and a half days of conference there was vigorous debate on the 41 motions put forward. We heard many speakers on many subjects that affect women, including affordable childcare; domestic violence; abortion rights; the impact of austerity on parental rights; bullying and sexual harassment; women over 50 and many more.
“One thing that left a lasting impression on every one present was that women can change things, and in this world today we are a force to reckoned with. One of the guest speakers was Irmita Salanueva, the daughter of one of the Cuban 5, who addressed the conference with passion and a heartfelt plea to carry on the fight. The conference inspired us all to go out and make a difference.”
Prospect motions on zero tolerance for bullying and sexual harassment and facility time for equality reps were carried by conference.