If you’re voting in London, Scotland or Wales tomorrow and you’re still confused about the ‘why is it the WOMEN’S Equality Party not the Equality Party’ thing, here’s a piece I wrote almost a year ago, when that question was very new and came up time and again. It comes up far less often now, but it still comes up, so just in case …
More than a year on, masses of work done, so much more to do, but a beginning. I’m so looking forward to voting for Sophie Walker (Mayor) and WE tomorrow.
As a Londoner I get four votes, two of my votes are going to WE for the many many reasons that have been rehearsed on this blog and elsewhere for years, but chief among them : lack of equal representation for women; lack of equal pay and opportunity for women; unfair burden of parenting, childcare and wider care on women (and the huge value of including men more in parenting); violence against women and girls; unequal treatment in the media; unequal education (esp in STEM subjects – as a STEM to STEAM advocate, I care about this hugely).
All vital stuff, all still to achieve. All STILL to achieve! (Sigh. And … onwards.)
Two of my votes are going to Labour – despite Sadiq Khan’s refusal to answer the very valid questions of Lambeth residents about the absurd and unnecessary closure of our local (and vital) libraries, despite the appalling Lambeth (‘Progress’) Labour council’s behaviour (which promoted me to give up my party membership), I still care very much about Labour and especially the life-long and passionate activists like Cllr Rachel Heywood who had the courage to stand up to her own party in Lambeth against the divisive and damaging libraries cuts.
So – I’m voting WE with my head and my heart, and voting Labour only with my heart because my head is genuinely perplexed about the current Labour party, the divisions between left and right (the right are the ones damaging Lambeth council, many of the left are not helping by refusing to acknowledge in-party anti-semistism), but my heart couldn’t bear Goldsmith to get the job.
There’s a great piece here about canvassing for WE – very like my own experience, so many positive responses, so many enthusiastic men (and older women, LOADS of enthusiastic older women … the carers), so much HOPE.
The Women’s Equality Party has grown extraordinarily quickly, on a tiny amount of money, a huge amount of passion, and a vast quantity (and quality) of bloody hard work. I’m proud to have had a little to do with the early months when it was just becoming, and mostly at midnight, around all of our ‘actual’ jobs – prouder still of the amazing people now involved across the UK in making this difference, day in, day out. In creating a party that doesn’t just talk about change – but makes change, not least by pushing equality for women on to everyone’s agenda. Because, of course, equality is better for everyone.
In London, for the first time ever, ALL of the mayoral candidates were asked about being feminist, were pushed on their position on women’s issues, were asked again and again how seriously they take equality. Deeds not words – WE did that.
I’m proudly here too :