More than a million women took part in last week's historic strike against the government's great pension robbery writes Louise Nousratpour in Morning StarVirtually every cut that has been announced by the Con-Dem government has hit women hardest.

Labour says that more than 70 per cent of the latest £2.37billion cuts announced in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement last week will come from women workers, who form the majority of public sector workforce and are more likely to work in low-paid and part-time jobs.

The proposed public sector pension changes, which sparked Wednesday's biggest strike in a generation, will also discriminate against women.
"We are clearly being scapegoated," says civil servant Mandy who is minding a PCS picket line near London Bridge.
Reluctant to give her full name, she describes George Osborne's decision to cap her pay at 1 per cent as "a disgrace" and rejects claims that it is a necessary step to help mend the economy.
"How has our current two-year pay freeze helped the recovery when we are heading for another double-dip recession?" she asks.
Mandy says she decided to take action after realising that soon she could not only lose her pension but also her job, referring to the Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR) revised forecast that 710,000 public sector jobs will go by 2017.
"A friend of mine works in care. She doesn't earn much money at all but, like me, she decided to strike for the first time in her life because she was so outraged," Mandy says.
"I have been paying into my current pension for six years. I could lose a substantial amount of that money if the changes go through."
Around 3.7 million women like Mandy will be affected by the changes - a staggering one in four of all working women in Britain.
Even under the current scheme the average pension for a public sector male worker is just £4,000 a year after a lifetime of service. This is reduced to £2,500 for his female colleague.
"Hardly gold plated, is it?" says a Greater London Authority (GLA) worker who does not wish to give her name.
She has joined a well-attended and lively Unison picket outside mayor Boris Johnson's offices at City Hall.
Only 10 per cent of the workforce are crossing the picket. Many of them look visibly ashamed with some whispering "sorry" before slipping past well-mannered, smiling Unision members who urge them to join the action.
The GLA worker says government plans to make people like her pay hundreds of pounds more a year in contribution for lower pension is "nothing more than a stealth tax" to pay off the deficit.
"I will have to pay £600 more a year and not a penny of it will go towards my final pension," she says.
"Ministers say it's unfair for taxpayers to foot our pension bill but we are the taxpayer and we already pay a chunk of our income towards our own retirement. We are not asking for handouts - just what's owed to us."
Unison regional secretary Linda Perks, who is visiting the City Hall picket, is excited about how successful the day has turned out to be.
She says the union, which has more than a million women members, has been inundated with membership applications since the pensions dispute began.
"In the London region we recruited over 800 new members last week alone," Perks adds.
Unison has reported a 126 per cent jump in applications in recent weeks - around 80 per cent of them women.
"This means pensions are a burning issue for women in particular," Perks says. "It's not that long ago women didn't see themselves as full-time workers and didn't even consider joining the scheme.
"But many have now joined, which means their living standards are above the poverty line when they retire and they're not dependent upon their children or relatives to maintain a reasonable standard of living."
Perks is worried that the changes will plunge more women into pensions poverty and turn back the clock on their relative economic independence.
"We fear that proposals to increase contributions by up to 50 per cent will lead to many leaving the scheme and new starters won't join because the extra tax on their income is simply unaffordable," she warns.
"The scheme itself is in danger of collapsing altogether, which means people will have to rely on state pension and means-tested benefits, pushing their retirement pay below the poverty line again."
Perks warns that, if the scheme collapses, it will also be bad for the economy.
"The health pension scheme produces a profit of £2bn a year which goes straight back into the Treasury. The local government scheme, which is an invested scheme, produces between £4bn and £5bn a year in profits - that keeps the stock exchange going.
"So if that scheme goes, billions of pounds will just vanish from the money markets and affect the economy quite badly."
Perks believe that the success of the strike will strengthen workers in their resolve to fight the cuts and this government.
"For many today is the first time they've ever come out on strike. This is going to change and strengthen the trade union movement because the experience of going on strike and the sense of solidarity that is part of such action is very powerful, even life-changing.
"We obviously don't want to have to organise more strikes around this particular issue.
"But if the government won't move, we'll have to consider it."