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IWD 2021: Wythenshawe Women

Social Rights Alliance Manchester is marking International Women’s Day 2021 by celebrating women in Wythenshawe working as frontline health and care workers in Manchester during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Rachael Gibbons, Social Rights Alliance Coordinator interviewed Martine, a housekeeper at Opal House, Wythenshawe hospital to hear her experiences of the last year. You can listen to their 30 minute conversation here. Martine expressed the views and experiences of many women.


Women represent the largest demographic of key workers, especially women of colour and migrant workers[1]. For many women, they face a ‘triple shift’: their paid work, their unpaid domestic labour and the education of their children and seen their care and unpaid domestic work taken for granted, with little to no recognition of this burden, nor reward. This care and domestic labour have been more visible, and essential in helping us all during the pandemic, as women continue to ensure that care homes, supermarkets, hospitals and more, stay open.


The widespread celebration of women and recognition of the challenges they face tends to focus on women in positions of leadership, diversifying board rooms and rightfully recognizing gendered discrimination in the workplace, including pay. However, a year after those working on the frontline found themselves in some of the most challenging situations they’ve faced yet, it seems important, now more than ever, that we recognize and celebrate the achievements of the women working as frontline health and care workers. Women have been badly hit by the pandemic and are facing many violations of their rights such as increasing food poverty as well as rising care responsibilities and the care crisis.


The Social Rights Alliance Manchester supports residents of Wythenshawe and Moss Side to campaign on issues of social injustice through the framework of economic, social and cultural rights.


Our work credits this framework as an important tool for achieving meaningful social change and operates on the belief that the understanding and promotion of rights will ensure that people have the power to hold decision makers to account. It is essential that we continue to move in our circles of solidarity and support each other as a network of hope and change, which is why we choose today to celebrate women of Wythenshawe on the frontline via our podcast.


For more information on how to get involved, contact Rachael Gibbons at rachael.gibbons@justfair.org.uk


[1] Lessons Learned: Where Women Stand at the Start of 2021 - Womens Budget Group (wbg.org.uk)

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