The Royal College of Podiatry calls for all unions to work to tackle the increase in violence against women

Trade Union
The Royal College of Podiatry (RCPod) will raise a motion about violence against women at this year's TUC Women's Conference 9-11 March 2022

The Royal College of Podiatry will call on all unions to work with the TUC to tackle the increase in violence against women at this year’s TUC Women’s Conference. The decision to raise the motion follows a series of high-profile incidences in the UK of extreme violence against women at the hands of men. These include the tragic and senseless murders of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa and Bibaa Henry and her sister Nicole Smallman.

In moving its motion, Diana Scott-Brown, RCPod Employment Support Officer, will say that:

“For years, women from all aspects of society have been subjected to violence, sexual harassment, misogyny, and verbal abuse; this has had an impact on all women, with many not feeling able to speak out for fear of facing repercussions or not being believed. We all have a responsibility to keep this subject high on the public’s agenda. We have a responsibility to our future generation of female workers, women, and girls.”

Against the backdrop of these profound acts of violence against women, RCPod will also use its voice to talk again about the increase in domestic violence, attacks on women in the workplace and the increasing fear that women feel using public transport.

Recognising that many of its female members in podiatry work in jobs that require them to visit clients in their own homes and usually alone, RCPod is calling for substantial training to be extended to all women workers. The request is to ensure that women have the skills and knowledge to protect themselves as best as possible from violence in these situations.

Earlier this year, Deputy General Secretary of the TUC Paul Nowak, writing for the RCPod, said that all men needed to take greater responsibility for challenging the unacceptable behaviour of other men.

Speaking up for women

RCPod is speaking six times over three days. In addition to its motion to tackle violence against women, RCPod will start its time at the Conference talking about women’s health in the workplace. RCPod will call on the TUC to continue to raise awareness of both women’s physical and emotional health. It will also ask for the TUC to campaign for employers to have fit for purpose and well-utilised Women’s Health policies.
Katie Harwood, RCPod Professional Officer, will say that:
“There are over 16 million women in employment in the UK. Most women in their lifetime will face some form of health concern at work that is overlooked, not taken seriously, and their needs completely ignored. The TUC has done some excellent work promoting menopause and menstruation policies, and the College has been utilising these resources. It is the start of some good work, but we all know there is a long way to go before women’s health is properly recognised in all workplaces and across the workforce.”
RCPod is also supporting motions from other trade unions, including the British Dietetic Association (BDA), the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ)
The TUC Women’s Conference coincides with the conclusion of International Women’s Day on 8 March.