Lib Dems mark #vote100

Today, Lib Dems marked the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote.

Vince put 16 and 17 year olds at the heart of his comments:

Today we celebrate 100 years since partial extension of the franchise to women.  It is shocking to think that another decade had to pass before votes were offered on a fully equal basis.

The causes both of gender equality and real democracy in the UK still have far to go.  A century on, we still see unjustifiable gender pay gaps, and sexism remains a scourge in the workplace and throughout society.

Parliament itself remains unrepresentative of society and of political opinion.  The next historic battle for democratic rights in the UK is to extend the franchise to 16 and 17 year olds, and reform our broken electoral system so that every vote counts and all voices can properly be heard.

Sal Brinton said that at current rates of progress her baby granddaughters, 2 this Summer, would be in their 9th decade by the time there was gender quality in the House of Common

In the last 100 years there have obviously been massive changes for the role of women in society. We are more equal, we are treated more fairly, and we face fewer obstacles in our lives. But the job is not yet done. As women we are not yet truly equal, we are not yet treated fairly, and we still face obstacles in our lives.

We are still behind in our politics and change must be led from the top. My granddaughters will be two this summer. At the current, glacial, rate of change they will be in their ninth decade before we have parity in the House of Commons. That is not good enough.

Willie Rennie tweeted:

In Wales, Jane Dodds found herself on the telly – and as the only woman on the panel discussing women getting the vote.

And there is a fabulous video and, of course, call to arms, from Jo Swinson:

I hope you enjoy the video. Let’s celebrate this momentous occasion – and then take action.

Here are three things you can do to help redress the gender power imbalance in our party and our country:

  • Ask a liberal-minded woman you know to join the party. (They can join here: libdems.org.uk/join)
  • Encourage a Lib Dem woman member to stand for election or take on a new party role. Lib Dem Women & Campaign for Gender Balance can offer support (and you can join them and offer to help!)
  • Challenge gender inequality when you see it in everyday life – if you want tips on how to do so, check out Equal Power for ideas.

Together, our actions can make a difference.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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One Comment

  • On the subject of the workplace, I’d be intrigued to hear what our party thinks about the mostly working class women who have found themselves either out of work or in danger of being so, because mostly middle class ‘feminists’ have loudly pressured companies into banning ring/walk on girls at sporting and promotional events.

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