The conference was attended by over 150 female GMB members, reps and activists who heard from a series of high profile guests and took part in debates and workshops covering a number of important topics.
Speakers included Sylvia Lancaster (Sophie Lancaster Foundation) who addressed the conference on the aims of the charity set up to create respect and understanding of subcultures in our communities in order to work in conjunction with politicians and police forces to ensure individuals who are part of subcultures are protected by the law.
In 2013 Greater Manchester Police became the first to monitor and record hate crimes and incidents against people from Alternative Subcultures. Several other Police Authorities have since followed their example.
Also speaking was Key 103’s Michelle Livesey who along with Michael Brown, the father of murdered Clare Wood, successfully campaigned for the introduction of ‘Clare’s Law’ named after Clare Wood, who was killed by a man she met on Facebook. George Appleton strangled Ms Wood, 36, in Manchester in 2009 and set her body on fire before he hanged himself. Clare’s family later discovered that Appleton had convictions for violence against women, including the knifepoint kidnapping of one of his ex-girlfriends. Under this initiative police and other agencies will be able to carry out checks and warn women if they are at risk.
GMB Regional Secretary Paul McCarthy said:
“I am extremely proud to welcome so many female members and distinguished guest speakers to our 15th women’s conference. In the past we have seen a great many women who have attended our conferences be inspired and motivated to move on and take up prominent roles in every walk of life. Not only is equalities in general a major focus for GMB, but promoting and empowering women within the trade union movement, in workplaces and within our wider communities is a top priority for me and for our union”
The Conference took place over 2 days on Thursday and Friday 29h and 30th October.