Whilst most Covid related restrictions have now been eased in the UK, regulations on travel, self isolation (including for school children) and local authority powers to close venues remain in force.
The fact that ‘Freedom Day’ failed to secure a repealing of the Coronavirus Act means further lockdowns in response to the usual winter increase in ARI (acute respiratory infection) hospital admissions appears a strong possibility.
Over the past week, legislation mandating vaccines for the predominantly female and low paid care home staff has passed in the House of Lords, along with the announcement of government plans for the introduction of domestic vaccine passports which discriminate against pregnant and breast feeding women, amongst other groups.
Over the past 18 months, women have been disproportionately affected by lockdown-induced unemployment, which has strongly impacted on the service sector. We have seen a return of women back into the home, in which women’s unpaid domestic load has simultaneously multiplied due to the increased childcare from interruptions in children’s schooling.
Concurrently, women’s access to outside help and support from grandparents, paid nurseries etc. has frequently been obstructed. Second wave feminist campaigning led to greater public consciousness about the scale of intimate partner abuse against women, and the creation of state funded services for victims. When it comes to applying understandings of coercive control dynamics to the abuse perpetrated against citizens by the state through lockdown restrictions and medical mandates, the Left and modern day women’s movement have, however, largely failed to produce a coherent critique.
An important antidote to the isolation, shut down of counter-narrative views and information, and the transfer of much of human contact to online spaces constituting the ‘new normals’ must involve gathering in person to freely discuss (arguably) the single biggest political issue affecting all of our lives.
In this spirit, women readers are invited to the conference Women Questioning The New Normals in central Manchester on 31st July. Concession tickets are from £8. The program of talks, Q&As and workshops with a range of women from education, health/medical, media and activism backgrounds promises to make for a very informative and inspiring day!
‘When sleeping women wake, mountains move’ (Chinese proverb)
For more info and to reserve your place please email: firstname.lastname@example.org