Tomorrow delegates will gather in Congress House for the 82nd TUC Women's Conference and once again they are meeting at a time of great hardship for ordinary women and their families.
The facts speak for themselves. Women are twice as likely to be affected by government cuts as men and they are being disproportionately hit by pay freezes, pension reforms and a massive jobs cull in the public sector.
And later we are likely to see yet more evidence that it is women who are continuing to bear the brunt of the economic crisis when the new unemployment figures are released almost certainly showing that women's unemployment will have reached its highest level in a quarter of a century.
But the headline statistics tell us nothing about the countless personal tragedies unfolding right across Britain.
The female graduate told to start her own business because there are no jobs, the young mother unable to find work because of a lack of childcare and the woman in her fifties made redundant now fearing she will never work again. The jobs crisis facing women is a national scandal.
So much of what the government is doing is hitting women hard - whether it's slashing funding for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, changing the state pension age, cutting maternity leave to 18 weeks - or zero if Tory guru Steve Hilton gets his way - putting hard won abortion rights at risk, cutting legal aid or closing refuges for the victims of domestic violence. Wherever you look there is evidence that this is most female-unfriendly government in living memory.
With all this in mind it's hardly surprising that so few women support the government.
You'd think ministers might be worried and would be thinking seriously about ways of winning female voters back.
But so far this has amounted to little more than the appointment of a new tsar for women, a few warm words about getting more women onto company boards and talk of tax breaks for people who employ cleaners and servants.
This is a government that knows absolutely nothing of the lives led by ordinary women in Britain.
So how, in the midst of austerity, do we win fairness, equality and justice for women?
We've got to set out our alternative to austerity.
With the cuts hitting women hard, it's our job to show there is a better way to get our economy back on track.
Ministers want us to believe that austerity will be worth it in the long run, that the sacrifices we are making now will pay dividends at some indeterminate point in the future.
But we need to get the message across that it won't be like this - austerity means high unemployment, stagnant wages and falling living standards.
Instead we need to give ordinary working people a sense of hope about their prospects.
That's why, over the past year, the TUC has made the case for a different strategy based on growth, jobs and tax justice.
Keeping our economy moving, keeping people in work and keeping tax revenues flowing - with those at the top making a proper contribution.
We've got to shift the terms of the debate from deficit reduction to economic renewal because it's only through building a fairer, stronger economy that we'll be able to deal with our debts in the long term.
We've also got to keep fighting the cuts in our workplaces and our communities, to build on the huge success of our massive mobilisations of March 26 and November 30 last year - in which women played such a prominent role.
Thanks to the excellent Women and the Cuts toolkit launched last autumn, we're already building up a detailed picture of how austerity is affecting women in communities the length and breadth of the country, and during the conference the 280 delegates will be invited to pinpoint cuts in their workplace or community on a giant map of Britain.
Finally at a time when women are being hit hard by the cuts, when it is women who account for the majority of the 710,000 jobs being slashed across our public services and when women are often being shoehorned into lower-paid work in the private sector, the case for stronger union organisation is unchallengable.
So let's work at bringing even more women into the union fold to focus on the issues that matter most to them.
Then we will be stronger together as we fight the cuts, stronger together as we set out our alternative and stronger together as we win fairness for ordinary women and their families.
Sarah Veale is TUC head of equality and employment rights.
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