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Press release: Bristol women bring the value of care to the attention of full council

A group of women from diverse backgrounds at the Bristol City Hall full council meeting

For immediate release
Tuesday 9 January 2024

Bristol women bring the value of care to the attention of full council

An alliance of ten Bristol organisations is campaigning and calling on employers, councillors, regional decision-makers and members of parliament to put care at the heart of their policies.

Today (Tuesday 9 January 2024), representatives of the alliance will ask the full council what steps are being taken to invest in the caring economy during public questions.

Women from all backgrounds have crafted colourful felt pouches with personal messages which will be handed to every Bristol City councillor to raise awareness about why the caring economy is important to them and how it would change their lives for the better.

The Caring Economy invests in maternity, nursery, childcare, and early years education, health and social care. It supports the life, work and well-being of all, especially those delivering care in many ways that are not always recognised.

Caring economics rewards those who work in the caring economy appropriately rather than seeing many having to rely on low wages and food banks.

The Alliance highlights that caring has a fundamental impact on every individual: we all need care and we will all be a carer at some stage in our lives whether this is for a parent, a child, a spouse, a relative or a friend.

In the lead-up to the 2024 local election, the Caring Economy Alliance brings the voices of women, carers, care workers and those who might be cared for to the attention of politicians, employers and health and social care providers.

To name just a few of their asks, the Alliance wants to see employment contracts with paid-time allowances and flexible working conditions which recognise and support those with caring responsibilities, the protection of the rights of carers, better pay conditions care workers and better care packages.

Katy Taylor, director of Bristol Women’s Voice who are spearheading the campaign, says:

“Caring is the fundamental infrastructure of our society and yet decision-makers, employers and society don’t always value it.

“We know that in Bristol, 42,300 people have caring responsibilities. They spend time looking after children, older people, family members or others. Women are more likely to be carers than men and more than a third of carers provide over 50 hours of care per week.

“Caring can become a full-time job in itself, and women frequently don’t have any other choice but to pick up these responsibilities, often at the detriment of career aspirations or their own wellbeing.”

Anndeloris Chacon, CEO of Bristol Black Carers, says:

“It is all too easy to forget what value carers bring to our society, and to local services in particular.

“Those who are cared for at home, are not cared for in hospital, which can free up resources for these services. If we invested in proper support for carers, we would have fewer people in hospital.”

Sue Cohen, co-chair of the Economic Task Group, part of the Bristol Women’s Commission says:

“The crisis we are seeing now, is because care workers are so undervalued, especially in terms of their pay conditions and wages. They are key to keeping society together, and yet a good percentage of them are paid below the minimum wage.”

The alliance, which includes Bristol Black Carers, Bristol Women in Business Charter, Bristol Women’s Commission, Bristol Women’s Voice, Carers Support Centre, Chinese Community Wellbeing Society, Co-Produce Care, March of the Mummies Bristol, West of England for Independent Living and Women’s Budget Group have come together to ask Bristol and its regional authority to adopt their manifesto: “A Call for Change: Invest in the Caring Economy”.

ENDS

Notes to the editor:

Media Contact:
Claire Charras
Communications Coordinator
media@bristolwomensvoice.org.uk
07733 133 986

View our manifesto here: https://www.bristolwomensvoice.org.uk/caring-economy/

About the Valuing the Caring Economy Campaign:

The call for a better caring economy in Bristol was initiated by Bristol Women’s Commission in 2022 and has subsequently been addressed during International Women’s Day 2023.

Following a survey with its members, Bristol Women’s Voice found that the overwhelming majority wanted to see the issue of women’s economic inequality addressed in Bristol.

As a voice and influence organisation, Bristol Women’s Voice has continued this important work in collaboration with Bristol Black Carers, Bristol Women in Business, Bristol Women’s Commission, Carers Support Centre, Chinese Community Wellbeing Society, Co-Produce Care, March of the Mummies Bristol, West of England for Independent Living and Women’s Budget Group.

About Bristol Women’s Voice:

We’re a not-for-profit membership organisation of women working to make women’s equality a reality in Bristol. It is a membership organisation with more than 4,000 members or subscribers.

Interviews:

Katy Taylor, Bristol Women’s Voice Director is available for interview.
Sue Cohen, Bristol Women’s Commission Economy Task Group co-chair is available for interview.

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