In April a number of Hackney’s nurseries had serious and immediate cuts forced upon them without any explanation or prior consultation. Nursery workers, parents and community activists have already begun to organise against the cuts, coming together as Friends of Hackney Nurseries. Although people of all genders have contributed, so far the vast majority of those involved have been women. There are good reasons why the struggle for better childcare might be led by women – childcare workers and primary carers are still predominantly female, and women in general are still the ones responsible for ‘picking up the tab’ when it comes to all forms of reproductive labour. Whether we like it or not, it will be us as women who are most adversely affected by these cuts and our campaign for quality affordable childcare will have our interests as women at the centre of it.
We want to make sure, however, that saving Hackney’s nurseries doesn’t become just another job for the girls. Attacks on childcare provision are everybody’s problem, and they need to be actively resisted by the entirety of our movement – ‘single’ people as well as parents, men as well as women. These nursery cuts are part of wider attacks on our public services, designed to take back even the small gains fought hard for by working people over the last century. We think that struggles around childcare and other forms of domestic labour have for too long been considered outside the realm of the political. We are calling on the male-dominated Left to take this campaign seriously, and to join us today and in the future – not just to defend existing and unsatisfactory public services but to fight for a better way to organise our society and our lives.
[callout title=Get Involved!]
- Sign the petition www.petitiononline.com/fhn/petition.html
- Come along to the Funday on Sunday 30th May (11am-2pm in London Fields), or to help leaflet for it meet 4pm Saturday 22nd May outside Hackney Town Hall (call 07890 209479).
For more information on the campaign and how to get involved go to friendsofhackneynurseries.wordpress.com [/callout]