Fiona Mactaggart MP, Secretary of the Commission on Older Women, on Labour's commitment to delivering for older women.
A year and a half ago we launched Labour’s Commission on Older Women, chaired by Harriet Harman. Our rationale was simple – older women are disappearing from all walks of life and this is simply not right.
Since then the Commission has gone around the country to hear the voices of as many older women as we can – a journey made possible by the enthusiasm of my fellow Commissioners; presenters Miriam O’Reilly and Arlene Phillips, journalists Jackie Ashley and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Kay Carberry, Gloria Mills and Agnes Tolmie from the trade unions, Sonia Mangan from Age UK, Welsh AM Julie Morgan, media executive Dawn Airey and academic and Sure-Start innovator Naomi Eisenstadt.
Louise Baldock, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Stockton South, writes on what equal marriage means to her. The Marriage Act (Same Sex Couples) takes effect on March 29th.
When you fall in love with someone and everything is going really well, when you finally believe this is “the one” and the passage of time has done nothing to dispel that impression, your thoughts may well turn to making a permanent formal commitment to each other. You daydream for hours about which of you will propose, who will choose the rings, what you will wear, what the flowers will look like, what song will play when you walk down the aisle after the service and who will be present to witness and share in your joy.
At the end of last year, Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, disgracefully equated vulnerable sections of society to ‘cornflakes’ in his infamous Margaret Thatcher speech. He also went on to state that inequality is ‘natural’ and ‘essential’. His oxymoronic cure for inequality (which in London equates to thousands using foodbanks and sleeping rough whilst the ‘super-rich’ thrive) is to cause further hardship for vulnerable groups because, he believes, it is healthy to foster a ‘spirit of envy’.
It is shameful that the Mayor of a city as diverse and wealthy as London can advocate such a view and get away with it.
I've spent the last couple of months travelling Britain listening to hundreds of women of all ages, backgrounds and races. From hair and beauty students to Woman's Own readers, city high fliers to new mums I've spent hour after hour listening and learning. It's been a fantastic experience confirming to me that if any politician wants to know what makes people angry, worried or inspired they should get the next train out of Westminster.
What did I learn on my what women want tour? I could tell you but then it would be my voice and not theirs’.
The 2014 European Elections will be a challenge in many ways - but increasingly the issue of BAME representation is one of those challenges even if it is not taken seriously. The UK has a handful of BAME MPs - and at last, in the last one or two electoral cycles this has finally begun to include BAME women, and BAME MPs who are no longer confined just to the Labour Party. This, and the Obama effect have all thrust us into a 'post race' world when it comes to BAME concerns in political selections.
In the first of a series of blogposts Gloria De Piero MP, Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, reflects on listening events held with women across the country as part of her 'What Women Want' tour.
This week in every region of Britain Labour women have been hosting what women want listening events in celebration of International Women’s Day.
I've spent the last couple of months travelling the UK listening to hundreds of women of all ages, backgrounds and perspectives. From hair and beauty students, Woman's Own readers, from city high fliers to expectant mums.
Melanie Ward, who sits on the Advisory Board of the Labour Campaign for International Development, writes on tackling global poverty.
For Labour, internationalism is in our party’s DNA. We know that the place and circumstances in which you were born should not determine your chances in life. Our vision of social justice and equality doesn’t stop at Britain’s borders; it spans the globe.
It’s hard to think of an issue where such an approach is needed more than gender inequality. Women are half of the world’s population yet make up 70% of the global poor.
Harriet Harman MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, explains why Labour is the true party of the family.
Over the years, family policy has been highly contested. It used to be assumed that the Tories were the party of the family and their approach defined family policy. It meant taking a judgmental view about families - that they must be married and stay married. It promoted the view that support services - like childcare - should be there but only for "failing families".
Those of us who argued for the right to divorce and for rights for women within the family were characterised as anti-family.
Reema Patel, National Secretary of the Fabian Women's Network Executive, on the impact of the Fabian Women's Network Mentoring Scheme
Most mentoring and development programmes are judged by the impact they have - and in this respect the Fabian Women's Network's mentoring scheme is remarkable. Designed and run for four years by Fabian woman Christine Megson, the scheme has had over 70 members on its intakes - with over 20 of those women standing for local council, MEP candidates selected from the crop, and four Prospective Parliamentary Candidates selected through the development programme.
Bex Bailey, Youth and Student Rep on Labour’s NEC, explores the challenges faced by women in the workplace:
Women are being routinely failed in their workplaces.
According to the TUC, a woman in work today is earning 15.7% less on average than men. In spite of this, the Government has decided not to fully implement measures passed by the last Labour government, which would have required employers to undertake pay audits, weakening efforts to ensure equal pay in the private sector.
Women are far more likely to be working in part-time jobs, where the pay gap not only increases but jobs are often characterised by low pay and poor promotion prospects.