Tag Archives: international women’s day

International Women’s Day – #AskHerToStand

100 years since women got the vote, and Parliament still woefully lags behind in terms of gender equality.

Whilst there are more women in Parliament than ever before, we are still on 32% of the Commons. We languish at 49th in the world for the number of women in Parliament. At this rate it will take 50 years to achieve gender equality in Parliament. 100 years after women won the right to vote 50:50 are aiming to achieve better gender balance in Parliament sooner than this.

I was thrilled to

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It’s International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world. The theme this year is #PressforProgress. One startling fact: the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report shows that gender parity is 217 years away!

And on to harassment in its many forms – our own Wera Hobhouse MP is calling on the government to make upskirting a criminal offence as reported by Caron on Tuesday. Wera says,

The fact that this is not a sexual offence in England baffles me, as much as it horrifies me. In Scotland upskirting was made an offence back in 2009. There is simply no excuse for ignoring this issue any longer.

Relying on outraging public decency is absurd. It should not matter how public it was or who else saw it. The law should focus on the individual victims and the crime committed against them. It is their body that is being taken advantage of without their consent.

But true equality is about resolving power inequality. Professor Mary Beard’s latest book, Women and Power, discusses the structures inherent in society which need to change. In discussions with a friend this week we realised that until we get most histories written by women, most laws written by women, society governed by women in the majority at every level, we will never achieve gender equality. The world is not only run predominantly by men but is also contextualised in books, histories, films, etc., by men. The whole world is skewed by a man’s perspective on everything. Living is framed by men.

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Inspiring women: Sarah Olney MP

How brilliant was it at 3 whatever it was in the morning of 1st December when Sarah Olney was declared the MP for Richmond Park? She certainly deserves to be acclaimed as one of this year’s inspiring Lib Dem women. Her speech at the count, full of liberal principle, got many of us in the gut.

Last week, she spoke for the party in the International Women’s Day Debate in the Commons. Here is her speech in full:

May I say how pleased I am to represent the Liberal Democrats in this debate on International Women’s Day, as the 454th female MP? I am proud to say, in contrast to some previous Members’ contributions, that I am not the first, nor even the second, woman to have held my seat. I am, in fact, the third Liberal Democrat woman to represent Richmond Park, and I am extremely proud of that.

One of the advantages of being a London MP is that I get to go home to my family every evening and spend time with them every morning. As the mother of young children, this is a particular blessing to me, but it does mean that I live a life of contrasts. Yesterday, for example, I spent the first part of the morning trying to get my son to clean his teeth and my daughter to brush her hair. I then travelled into Westminster and challenged the Prime Minister in the Chamber about her spending priorities for education. Of the two things, the latter was more remarked upon—it was heard by Members here, recorded in Hansard and shared on Twitter—but getting my son to clean his teeth was the greater achievement in many ways. It took more ingenuity, effort and emotional commitment, but nobody noticed, cared or applauded me for it.

It often sounds ironic or self-deprecating to refer to the tasks of motherhood as being more taxing than tasks carried out in the professional sphere, but in this case, I am not being ironic; it is precisely true. We are so used to underplaying the work we do as mothers and in the home that we do not think anyone will take us seriously if we talk seriously about it. So today, in the spirit of the motion to recognise the achievements of women, I want to celebrate the everyday, unacknowledged, unrewarded and unnoticed achievements of women.

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Inspiring Lib Dem Women: Kelly-Marie Blundell

On this International Women’s Day, we are celebrating some inspiring Lib Dem Women.

Since being selected PPC for Lewes, which requires just a 1% swing to take it back from the Tories, Kelly-Marie Blundell has been a campaigning force, increasing the local membership, helping to elect four new Lib Dem councillors in by-elections, campaigning against Brexit and just this Saturday collecting an impressive 700 signatures for the rights of resident EU citizens.

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Inspiring Lib Dem Women: The women who chair our state and federal parties

For the first time in our history, women are at the helm of all three state parties and the federal party.

Of course, Sal Brinton is our federal party President. I am constantly in awe of her seemingly endless patience as she has to navigate all the different interest groups in the party and bring them all together to agree on a way forward.

I shudder to think how many hundreds of thousands of miles she has travelled in her two an a bit years as President through a General Election, Welsh and Scottish elections and visiting every by-election. She spent a few days in Cornwall the other week boosting their county council campaign and then popped up in Stoke several times – including the gruelling all night shift.

As well as all this she puts in some considerable work in the Lords. Watch her speak here on the effect that Brexit will have on health and social care.

On International Women’s Day, it is appropriate to recognise her work in protecting her students from harassment by introducing considerate conduct contracts for construction workers.

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Inspiring Lib Dem women: Elaine Bagshaw

Today on International Women’s Day, we are celebrating some fantastic Lib Dem Women.

Remember back in 2015 after that devastating General Election when we all just wanted to hide under our duvets and make the next five years go away? Well, Elaine Bagshaw didn’t have time to do that, because she had to fly the Lib Dem flag in the Tower Hamlets mayoral by-election caused by the disqualification of the previous incumbent.

She made progress in that election and since then she has led her local party from strength to strength. As the candidate for Poplar and Limehouse, she is out there campaigning most days. Her local party membership is over 550 and she is working hard for her community. Late one recent Saturday night, she featured on local Bengali channel NTV talking about the Lib Dem perspective on Brexit and Trump and did such a good job of explaining our position.

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LibLink: Miriam Gonzalez Durantez: I don’t want my 3 sons to grow up in a world where girls feel second rate

Another Lib Dem woman who inspires many – in fact, she makes a mission of Inspiring Women is Miriam Gonzalez Durantez.

She has written for the Telegraph about the need for men and women to work together to make life better for the next generation of boys and girls.

She outlines the threats to hard-won progress:

In the US, President Donald Trump is putting into question women’s reproductive rights; in Russia, laws are being considered to decriminalise some aspects of domestic violence.

Just last week, a Polish MEP declared that women should earn less than men because they are “weaker, smaller and less intelligent.” Breitbart, the right-wing website pioneered by Steve Bannon, now Trump’s chief strategist, has claimed that birth control makes women unattractive and crazy. And so on.

Women still suffer from society’s expectations:

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 17th Mar - 2:00pm
    Roland It depends what you mean by "thinking it through". As none of what you said in your lengthy reply remotely justified the ludicrous home=country...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 17th Mar - 1:33pm
    The Gladstone Club used to meet at the National Liberal Club under the chairmanship of Roger Pincham www.liberalhistory.org.uk/people/roger-pincham/. The attraction for me was the excellence...
  • User AvatarJoeB 17th Mar - 12:22pm
    Peter, I am not sure what you mean when you say "there are some grey areas over how the CAD is defined, for example, with...
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    As one official put it, I am quite bloody-minded and still do not fully accept my limitations - and perhaps they are right, but I...
  • User AvatarRoland 17th Mar - 11:32am
    But surely if you insist on a certain level of English proficiency as being conditional on getting a visa and working in public facing professions...
  • User AvatarNeil Sandison 17th Mar - 10:58am
    Due to good health care,an improved diet ,relatively full employment and a stable environment are population is living much , much longer .However compared to...