Its that time of year again…..to look back and see what you’ve achieved, and what the year has brought you. My reflection is not what I expected to see at a time when my husband has retired, we’ve settled in a new place and planned to change pace. I’ve become a political activist. Political with a small p because the whole process bemuses and infuriates me in equal measure and i’ve always avoided it as much as possible. The p may be small but its effects are considerable.
The world of WASPI has completely consumed me this year. My strong sense of social injustice has finally burst its banks and I’m going downstream quickly on a raft with a hole in it. Following in the shadows of the Suffragettes, the Women’s Libbers, Greenham Common, The Ford Women, The Miner’s Wives and countless other groups Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) have stood up and said “This isn’t right”
For those of you who don’t know the issue it concerns the arbitrary raising of the State Pension Age for women born in the 50s, and now the money is running out and we’re “all living longer” (although not necessarily fitter) successive Governments have sanctioned a steep rise in the pension age creating an inequality while claiming equality with men’s pension age.
The fundamental argument is that women weren’t told. The Government waited 14 years before they started telling anyone, and then only some, and then they stopped, and then they accelerated the age rise. I won’t bore you with any more details, but they consume my waking hours.
In this process I’ve met some amazing women. Made new friends and joined a Campaign. There’s Banners, protests, standing in the rain, travel, fliers, badges and even a Theresa May Guy for November 5th.”The lady’s not for burning”. MP’s good and not so good. Twitter and Facebook where the Trolls live.
Now at my favourite time of year I look back on this blog I started because there was nothing out there for Sixty Something Me, and women like me.Never have I found that truer than now. We’re a generation who raised the children, kept the house, worked, part time in many cases (with no access to private pension) were paid less than male counterparts, cared for our parents, battled ill health, and now we’re fighting for the bit of security we all thought we’d get at 60. You can believe me when I tell you that some women are needing it very desperately indeed. Although as someone put it to me recently a robbery is still a robbery, no matter who its stolen from.
But, out of the boxes of Christmas Decorations I drag my sense of joy at the things we’ve put away year after year, the little treasures, the daft mementoes. I’ve put them up, and once again there’ll be Christmas, with our girls.
Love unconditional. We’ll have a roast, mince pies, and a glass or two. Friends and neighbours. I’ll count my blessings.
Next year, I’ll pick up my banner and do my bit to right this injustice. And if I make it through the festive season without a man saying “You wanted equality, now put up with it” it truly will be the miracle of Christmas.
Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year