On 14th October the government announced plans to close the Women’s National Commission (WNC) as part of its cost-cutting drive to reduce and streamline quangos.
Since its establishment in 1969, the WNC has provided an independent voice of women in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to Ministers on a wide range of gender equality issues.
It has played a vital role in defending and promoting women’s reproductive choice, particularly regarding government obligations around the Convention to Eliminate all forms of Discrimination Against Women. Abortion Rights, as one of the WNC’s 670 partner organisations greatly regrets the planned closure.
Responding to the announcement of closure, Baroness Joyce Gould, WNC Chair, said:
“The decision to dismantle an independent and cost effective mechanism to give women a direct voice to government is yet another blow for women across the UK at a time when the Comprehensive Spending Review is likely to hit women and families disproportionately.”
The Commission is due to close on 31st December 2010, and its core functions brought into the Government Equalities Office. Baroness Gould and the Board of Commissioners will be working to ensure that these functions and designated funding for women’s equality issues are protected under the new arrangements.
Read more on the WNC website