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Second Annual Conference of the 4 Nations: Women and the Cost-of-living Crisis across the UK

For our second annual conference of the 4 Nations, we discussed the gendered impacts of the cost-of-living crisis and possible solutions.

Women across the UK are being hit harder by the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis. For our second annual conference of the 4 Nations, we wanted to bring together civil society, academics and policymakers from Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, and Wales to discuss these gendered impacts – and possible solutions – from a UK-wide perspective.

Session 1: Researching the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on women in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the UK

The Chair of the Northern Ireland Women’s Budget Group (NIWBG), Lynn Carvill, opened the conference and the first session with the reminder that behind the harrowing statistics coming out of the four nations are women who are struggling under the burden of the cost-of-living crisis. Following this introduction, researchers from representing each of the four nations presented evidence on the impacts the cost-of-living crisis is having on women in their nation.

Read the full summary here.Session 2: Campaigning and communicating for impact

After learning about the ways in which women as so-called ‘shock absorbers’ disproportionately suffer from the cost-of-living crisis across all four nations, the second part of the conference offered some optimism and hope. Chaired by Liz Law, who is a member of the Northern Ireland Women’s Budget Group and sits on  WBG UK’s board, the panellists from our second session shared their insights on how to build and implement successful communications and campaigns for change.

  • Nikki Pound, Equality & Strategy Policy Officer at the Trade Union Congress (TUC), kicked off the session with a presentation about the TUC’s current ‘Protect the Right to Strike’ Campaign that was launched in opposition to the government’s ‘Anti’ Strike (Minimum Service Levels) Bill.
  • Next, we heard from Paul Hebden, Deputy Director covering Strategic Communications at Tax Justice UK, who presented their work on the wealth tax reform campaign.
  • The third and last panellist of this session was Maddy Moore, Campaigns and Public Affairs Manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Maddy gave a presentation on a new joint campaign with the Trussell Trust, ‘Guaranteeing our Essentials’, which aims to tackle the inadequacy of our social security system.

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READ THE FULL SUMMARY HERE.Session 3: Panel Discussion and Q&A: Responding to the crisis – experiences and lessons we can learn

The third and final session of the conference took the form of a panel discussion and Q&A with political representatives from each of the four nations. Chaired by Katie Gallogy-Swan, Convenor of the Scottish Women’s Budget Group (SWBG), the concluding segment brought an eye to the different policy solutions that have been implemented in each nation to address the crisis and any future work that may be undertaken to tackle the economic vulnerability of women across the UK. It also enabled attendees to ask our political representatives – Rebecca Evans MS, Welsh Government Minister For Finance and Local Government; Natalie Don MSP, Convenor of the Scottish Social Justice and Social Security Committee; Clare Bailey, former Leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland; and Baroness Ruth Lister, Labour Life Peer – their own questions about women and the cost of living crisis in the UK.

Read the full summary here.

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