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The continuing gender pay gap is shameful. Labour will use the law to end it | Shami Chakrabarti | Opinion

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Jane thought she tasted something not quite right about that can of beans. But money was tight and she was hungry. So she ate some of it and became violently ill the next day. She kept the leftovers in the fridge but lacked the expertise or equipment to analyse it.

The Food Standards Agency had long since been abolished, so she would have to sue the manufacturer or the retailer of her contaminated supper by herself, without recourse to legal aid. This wasn’t realistic, so for several months many other people were poisoned too. A senior politician remarked that they should have used their “common sense” before eating the cut-price pulses. Jane received an equally dismissive reception when complaining about her unsafe rented housing and the chemicals that a multinational plant kept tipping into the nearby stream.

Then there was work. She had overheard enough conversations over the years to strongly suspect that the men were paid more. She spoke to her union rep, who was supportive, but she was put off by the need to stick her neck out, put her name to a grievance and maybe even sue her bosses, comparing the worth of her own contribution to that of male colleagues and friends. Not the easiest route to a quiet life.

The first paragraph of what I have written is pure dystopian fiction, if rooted in my reasonable fears about a future Boris Johnson Tory Britain with deregulation turbocharged by a trade deal with Donald Trump. The second paragraph represents the actual lived experience of many working women in Britain, whether poor or relatively affluent, professional, highly or less-skilled.

Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of Labour’s landmark Equal Pay Act, inspired by the women strikers at the Ford car plant in Dagenham, which put the great Barbara Castle in feminist history books forever; 2020 will also mark 10 years of the Equality Act, for which we have Harriet Harman to thank. That’s nearly five decades of legal obligations to pay women and men equally for equivalent work. I am a passionate believer in legislation but also in constantly reviewing and updating the law so that it never becomes a dead letter in a sealed book.

The Fawcett Society reports that the mean hourly gender pay gap is 13%. On this basis, next Thursday, 14 November, becomes Equal Pay Day, the day after which women in effect start working for free for the rest of the year. The society also projects that, at the current rate of progress, it will take another 60 years to close the gap.

So why has equal pay law failed to deliver equal pay for women up and down the land – from lawyers, bankers and journalists, to women working as cleaners, in hospitality and social care? The answer is enforcement.

How ridiculous. It’s as if individual pupils were left to sue their schools for not teaching them basic arithmetic, or patients had individually to verify the safety of prescribed medication before being able to trust it. Of course there have been high profile education and medical legal cases over the years, but the bottom line on regulation is that if society really cares about a standard – from schools and hospitals, to food, safety or the environment – the state takes responsibility for investigation and enforcement.

Some Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have grudgingly accepted moves towards equal pay auditing, but even inspection and audit is insufficient in the face of an intransigent employer.

That is why, as part of Labour’s radical “Women in the workplace” policy, we will amend the law to give a new Workers’ Protection Agency – supported by HMRC – powers to inspect, direct and if necessary fine employers who are failing to provide equal pay. No longer should individual women be left to tackle discrimination and injustice alone. We will join the top tier of nations taking radical steps towards equal pay.

Labour isn’t just the party of equality: it is also, crucially, the party of solidarity. Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, a concept once dismissed as old-fashioned has come back into style. Solidarity encapsulates something very special about the human condition. We are independent and industrious individuals, but we are ultimately social creatures too. And that doesn’t just describe the place we aspire to live in – it shows us how to get there. I am proud of this historic Labour offer to the women of the United Kingdom. What was once fought for in Dagenham can finally be won everywhere.

Shami Chakrabarti is shadow attorney general for England and Wales



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Susan Choi and Sarah M. Broom Score Top Honors at the National Book Awards

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Top honors for the 2019 National Book Awards went to women. Susan Choi took home the fiction award and Sarah M. Broom the nonfiction award. The Los Angeles Times reported on the ceremony, held last night in New York.

Choi was recognized for her fifth novel, “Trust Exercise.” Set in the ’80s, the story centers on a group of friends at a performing arts high school. Choi’s other books include “A Person of Interest” and “American Woman,” the latter of which was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Fiction finalists included Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s “Sabrina & Corina: Stories,” a collection of stories centered on Latinas of indigenous ancestry, Laila Lalami’s “The Other Americans,” a murder mystery about a Moroccan immigrant, and Julia Phillips’ “Disappearing Earth,” which takes place in the aftermath of two young sisters disappearing on the shoreline of the Kamchatka peninsula of Russia.

Broom was celebrated for her debut memoir, “The Yellow House.” In it, she revisits 100 years of her family’s history, and explores their relationship to their house in New Orleans.

Tressie McMillan Cottom’s “Thick: And Other Essays,” an exploration of beauty, media, and money, and Carolyn Forché’s “What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance,” which sees its author’s life forever changed when a mysterious stranger appears on her doorstep, were among the nonfiction finalists.



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How Anifa Mvuemba Is Cultivating The Intersection Of Fashion And Versatility

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As a contemporary women’s wear designer who creates statement, curve inclusive apparel for women, Anifa Mvuemba, who was previously known as a customs and alterations seamstress, has gained a great deal of recognition as the founder and lead designer of Hanifa. Since the launch of the brand in 2012, Anifa has designed collections featuring an array of styles, colors, and textures that cater to a woman’s body.

Her desire is to glorify God with her fashions and her creativity. Thorough and chic, Anifa Mvuemba is a Congolese, DMV raised visionary who is as thoughtful as her designs.

I got a chance to chat with Anifa as we discussed money management, the power of taking the road less traveled and scaling and expansion.

On making yourself marketable: Social media is such a powerful tool. If you’re a business today and you’re selling a product and you don’t have an Instagram – it’s almost like suicide to your business. In terms of marketing – it’s really important to understand your business, your product and understand how you want the world to perceive it. The biggest thing for me is my photos. Before a customer even gets to feel the fabric or try on the garment online they see the images first. Every time I put an image out into the world, I want someone to feel like “I have to have this.” I spend a lot of time on my imagery.

Using your resources:  The year that I started Hanifa I received a really nice tax return. I was 21 at the time and I  knew that I could either go out and blow it or use it towards my business. I didn’t have the most solid financial background so I used that money as my first investment. A lot of people feel like to start a business you need to have $100,000 – you can literally just start with what you have. Also, there’s so much information out there – I like to refer to myself as The Google Queen – you can find anything on the internet.

On effective money management: Without some type of understanding of your financials – you’ll be in a constant cycle of making money and then losing money. I went through that. I had to get real with myself and start to understand what was happening with my money. I got an accountant and financial advisor and began to take small steps towards learning my financials. Once you dive deeper and start to learn more about how money works it’s really not a scary thing. You can sit in meetings with investors and breakdown your finances with ease.

On taking the road less traveled: The most important thing is to always have a vision. Also, always remember why you started and remain as authentic and genuine as possible. If that stays consistent then that’s what’s going to bring the clients, funding, or whatever you’re seeking in your business.

What does the next 5 years look like for Hanifa? We opened our first brick and mortar in January of this year. We’re working on transitioning out of Baltimore and into D.C. Also, working on a manufacturing company where I help emerging designers (like myself) find the resources they need to thrive in this industry.

For more information, please visit: hanifa.co



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WINTER CAPSULE WARDROBE: Winter Wardrobe Minimal Outfit Ideas with Everlane [AD] | Mademoiselle

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AUTUMN/WINTER CAPSULE WARDROBE: Winter Wardrobe Essentials with Everlane [AD] | Today I’ve partnered up with Everlane to share an Autumn/Winter Capsule Wardrobe (as well as a peek at my maternity style). I’m sharing six key winter basics from Everlane, and showing how I pair them in over 20 outfits. Everything featured is linked below! x

Everlane are offering free shipping for Thanksgiving! Starting Weds 20 November at 9pm PT ending on November 21st at 9pm PT, you can get free 2 day shipping on all U.S. orders and free express shipping on orders $100 or more.

BLOG: http://www.mademois-elle.com
INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/mademoisellejaime
PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/mademoisellejaime/
EMAIL: jamielee@mademois-elle.com

SHOP MY EVERLANE EDIT: http://bit.ly/2oSb8DV

SHOP MY WARDROBE: https://www.depop.com/mademoisellejaime/

ITEMS FEATURED
Everlane re-cashmere stroopwafel mock neck sweater in ‘heathered sand’ (size S) – http://bit.ly/34dDqKo
Everlane alpaca sweater in ‘almond’ (size S) – http://bit.ly/312eYt1
Everlane black mock neck top (size XS) – http://bit.ly/2FwcU4k
Everlane boucle sweater in ‘blue lagoon’ (size S) – http://bit.ly/2O9N0Zb
Everlane cashmere ribbed mockneck in ‘heathered chai’ (size S) // COMING SOON
Everlane white cotton shirt (size US4) – http://bit.ly/2W3NH8u
Lilysilk black silk blouse (size M) – http://bit.ly/2D5oiT6

Glassons black/white polka dot dress (size NZ10) // old – http://bit.ly/31e6XC5 OR http://bit.ly/2Ad6dB2
Country Road black ribbed midi dress (size XS) – http://bit.ly/2OpAp4w

Realisation Par leopard skirt (size S) – https://realisationpar.com/the-naomi-wild-things/
RP leopard skirt affordable dupe – http://bit.ly/2VeQkqU
Jeanswest bf jeans [maternity] (size AU8) // sold out
Jeanswest skinny jeans [maternity] (size AU8) – https://shopstyle.it/l/baDXx
ASOS black maternity pencil skirt (size UK8) – http://bit.ly/2D5ptSw
Staple the Label black midi skirt (size S/AU10) // old – http://bit.ly/2QsyahM

Babaton black blazer (size XS) – https://www.aritzia.com/intl/en/product/agency-blazer/73982.html?dwvar_73982_color=1274
Everlane re-wool coat in ‘charcoal’ (size US2) – http://bit.ly/2KDsm11

Everlane black editor boots (size US9.5) – http://bit.ly/2s1s79O
Isabel Marant black suede heels (size FR41) // old – http://bit.ly/2XyAKnN OR http://bit.ly/2O5Udcm
Sam Edelman loafers (US9) – http://bit.ly/34NfBtc OR http://bit.ly/2ocFa6H
Vaneli two tone pumps (US9) – http://bit.ly/2KuIG4l
Stuart Weitzman OTK boots (US9) – http://bit.ly/2D5ibyq
Veja esplar sneakers (size EU40) – http://bit.ly/2odqHaG OR http://bit.ly/2zUQsPq

Parisa Wang enchanted bag – http://bit.ly/2Wo8BiV
Everlane day tote mini – http://bit.ly/32zHhAM
Polene black numero uno bag – https://eng.polene-paris.com/collections/numero-un
JW Anderson logo bag – http://bit.ly/2MZe0Kq OR http://bit.ly/2Q2o4W7
Everlane black wool/cashmere scarf – http://bit.ly/2XveUBQ
Isabel Marant belt (size S) – http://bit.ly/2nhIfSm

WEARINGEverlane alpaca sweater – http://bit.ly/312eYt1
Realisation Par leopard skirt – https://realisationpar.com/the-naomi-wild-things/
RP leopard skirt affordable dupe – http://bit.ly/2VeQkqU
Ania Haie earrings – https://aniahaie.com.au/collections/hoop-earrings/products/chain-hoop-earrings
Ania Haie bracelet – https://aniahaie.com.au/collections/bracelets/products/chain-hook-bracelet

Thank you so much for taking the time to watch this video. I hope you enjoyed it! Please note that some of the links used are affiliate links, which means if you choose to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support! 🙂

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