Women’s Equality Party announces Croydon launch for Oct 24

The Women’s Equality Party, the political movement founded by broadcaster and author Sandi Toksvig earlier this year, is staging its Croydon branch launch on October 24.

Sandi Toksvig: the one who talks sense on Question Time

Sandi Toksvig: the one on Question Time who talks sense

Cleverly adopting the hashtag #WE and co-ordinating its activities around key centenaries of the Suffrage movement, as well as the publicity surrounding the Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep movie Suffragette – the new party’s logo is coloured in the same purple and green of the historic Pankhurst-led organisation –  the launch promises to reveal the party’s national policy.

“We will talk about the aims and objectives of WEP, answer questions about how we intend to engage locally and nationally, and network over refreshments,” Gillian Manly, the local organiser, said.

“The Women’s Equality Party is a new collaborative force in British politics uniting people of all genders, diverse ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, beliefs and experiences in the shared determination to see women enjoy the same rights and opportunities as men so that all can flourish.”

Toksvig and Catherine Mayer, the journalist and biographer of Prince Charles, agreed to form the party after the Women of the World Festival in March. In July, after publishing founding principles and opening for membership, WEP announced that its first leader would be Sophie Walker, prior to a leadership election among the membership in 2016.

“Equality for women isn’t a women’s issue,” Manly, a South Norwood resident, said.

“When women fulfill their potential, everyone benefits. Equality means better politics, a more vibrant economy, a workforce that draws on the talents of the whole population and a society at ease with itself.”

Manley cites the continuing statistics of inequality: “Although women make up 51 per cent of the population, they are only 30 per cent of MPs, 25 per cent of judges, while 21 per cent of FTSE 100 company directors are female.

Women's Equality logo“Women still occupy the lowest paid jobs. At the current rate it will be 70 years before the gender pay gap – currently almost 16 per cent – eventually closes.

“Around 1.2 million women suffer domestic abuse a year and nearly half a million people are sexually assaulted. Conviction rates are low.

“Although at school girls outperform boys in every mainstream GCSE subject other than maths, and young women make up 57 per cent of first degree university graduates, somewhere along their career path, women fall behind…

“Over the years some progress has been made. But we need to up the pace of change. We need to seize every opportunity – at home, at work or in the media – to make the case for equality.

“Unleashing women’s full potential could add 10 per cent, or more than £150 billion, to our GDP by 2030 if all the women that wanted to work did so.

“Closing the gender pay gap would increase revenue from income tax and National Insurance while reducing payments in tax credits. It would also boost women’s spending power across the wider economy.

“WE will set out the case for change. We will work together to finally bring an end to the injustices women still face and to unleash the enormous potential women offer, to the benefit of everybody.

“WE are proud to focus on equality for women and also understand that there are many forms of inequality. WE will ensure our party and policies are informed by the views and experiences of those doubly or trebly disadvantaged, by their gender and by other factors such as ethnicity, age or disability.

“WE will bring about change by winning—support, votes and seats. WE do not try to present ourselves as a party with an answer on every issue and a full palette of policies and will never take a party line on issues outside our remit: to bring about equality for women.

“WE are a focused mainstream party and WE will not stop until all other mainstream parties embrace and adopt our agenda of equality – and take action to achieve it.”

The Croydon launch event is on Saturday October 24 at 10.30am at the Zakia Family Centre, 166 St James’s Road. Croydon CR0 2UZ.

Manly asks that those wishing to attend should register at this link.

For further party information: https://womensequality.org.uk/
For local branch contact, email: Wep.croydon@gmail.com

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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1 Response to Women’s Equality Party announces Croydon launch for Oct 24

  1. Rod Davies says:

    Any party that takes a name of one group in society lends itself to inequality. Consider our reactions to the “Muslim Equality Party”, “Black Peoples Equality Party”, or “English Equality Party”; we immediately distrust the intent and doubt the commitment to actual equality. Anything that primarily identifies with a specific group, acts for that group and all other groups become subordinate at best.
    Moreover, a factional party that could attract reasonable numbers of votes will inherently cause the mainstream parties to shift their policies to retain and attract that part of the electorate. We can readily see how both Conservative and Labour shifted ground as UKIP cut into their electoral base and gave precedence to their frequently absurd demands, and legitimised ideas that had previously been regarded as an anathema. If WEP becomes a significant force then we can expect the other parties to come up with new policies that echo much of what WEP claims and demands.
    The likelihood is that men will lose overall from the rise of WEP. Government’s can rarely change society and attitudes through legislation. What they can do is respond to voter demands by transferring finances into the areas that the interest group wants augmenting, but this is invariably by cutting deeply into provision for less vocal groups. Already females consume the lion’s share of public services, particularly in health and education where male out-turns are poor, and any transfers to bring public service provision for females up to the pre-recession levels will inevitably mean that male-specific services will be reduced almost to nil.

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