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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 February 2018

Featured letter

Fighting sexism: Positive discrimination - yea or neigh?

Does positive discrimination undermine or augment collective struggle? photo Campagne ROSA

Does positive discrimination undermine or augment collective struggle? photo Campagne ROSA   (Click to enlarge)

It's 100 years since women in Britain won, through militant struggle, limited adult suffrage.

Yet, today, the media is replete with examples of sexual harassment and abuse of women, and a stubbornly persistent gender pay gap.

Sport is no exception, with the recent trial of notorious serial abuser Larry Nasser, the disgraced former US sports doctor, and widespread examples of the continuing gender pay gap in prize money, opportunities and media coverage afforded to sportswomen.

Such discrimination has recently surfaced in horse racing. A recent number-crunching study by the racing industry showed no difference in performance between female and male jockeys.

Yet male jockeys monopolise the top-graded rides. It's clear that sexual discrimination accounts for the huge gender gap in winning rides.

Interestingly, Galop, the French horse racing authority, has given a weight allowance - an advantage in handicap events - to rides of female jockeys. Unsurprisingly trainers have prioritised female jockeys to take advantage, and the number of successful female riders has soared by 165%.

It raises the question: is 'positive discrimination' the way forward to level the playing field?

Leading female jockeys Josephine Gordon and Hayley Turner say the French allowance belittles their efforts to compete with male riders, whereas French jockey Maryline Eon says the allowance has helped her progress in a notoriously chauvinistic industry.

Positive discrimination is not new and has been repeatedly debated in the labour movement. But has widespread gender discrimination in today's society resurrected its efficacy?

Simon Carter, Forest Gate, east London

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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In The Socialist 7 February 2018:


Save our NHS

NHS - build the fightback

NHS day of action: all around the country

Tragic death exposes criminal understaffing of NHS

York socialists head resistance to NHS outsourcing

Trump v NHS


News

Capita in crisis: bring all outsourcers back in-house

90 feared dead after migrant boat capsizes


What we think

Corbyn's left must seize the advantage in Labour's civil war


Councils

Haringey: now's our chance for a no-cuts council

Walthamstow: occupy to save the town square

Scene set for TUSC conference electoral debate


Workplace

Royal Mail forced back under threat of action

Unison national women's conference

Striking back against academies in Newham


International socialist news and analysis

May's silence is a green light for Chinese repression

Sudan: Mohamed Satti released - global solidarity campaign gets results!

Protesters denounce oppressive Sri Lankan regime


Opinion

GCSE grading game stresses out students - even more than before!

Fighting sexism: Positive discrimination - yea or neigh?

Bernie's book shows need for workers' party

Darkest Hour: Not the usual flattery of brutal Tory Churchill

The Socialist inbox


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

The Socialist Party is being evicted - we need you!

Yorkshire Socialist Party regional conference


 

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Related links:

Sexism:

triangleSexist dismissal of women's health: NHS needs democratic control

triangleInternational Women's Day: Fighting sexism and austerity

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Fighting sexism today - and for socialism

triangleIn defence of socialist feminism

triangleOver one million students strike against sexism and for inclusive sex education

Discrimination:

triangleTV: The school that tried to end racism

triangleYes to self-identity

triangleUSA - another cop killing of unarmed black man sparks widespread protests

triangleCardiff Socialist Party: Fighting for the rights of young workers

Women:

triangle20 days. One town. Four domestic violence murders.

triangleDomestic violence murder

triangleFootball in the time of coronavirus - reclaim our game!

Media:

triangleThe role of the Socialist during the corona crisis

triangleFight back against the corona propaganda war

Pay:

triangleFight for the NHS

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