We’re really excited to have a letter published in the Guardian today, supporting the Lead for Women letter to the Labour leadership candidates, and calling for radical action to transform our Party.
The Guardian letter is signed by women from right across the Party, including NEC members, MPs and grassroots activists.
Labour must lead on women’s issues
The Guardian, Friday 16 July 2010
We support Harriet Harman’s call for 50:50 gender balance in Labour’s shadow cabinet. We are proud of the Labour party’s record in tackling inequality between women and men and in supporting families. But these achievements were too low on the agenda at the last election. Today, we are issuing a clear challenge to all the Labour leadership candidates. It is time to commit ourselves to taking radical steps to transform the party to become more representative and to win women’s votes, or face a long future in opposition.
Labour is unrepresentative from the grassroots to the top of the party. Just one Labour MP in three is a women. Our women politicians were relegated to the sidelines during the election campaign. Yet we know that women want to see more “people like me” in politics. Labour failed to reach out to female voters. Despite our progress on gender equality when in government, during the campaign we failed to show that we understand the reality of women’s lives. As a result Labour lost support from women across all age groups.
Almost 200 women have now signed the Lead for Women letter and together we are calling on all the leadership candidates to set out their own plan of action for Labour Party renewal, ensuring: equal numbers of women and men in the shadow cabinet; equal and meaningful women’s representation across the whole shadow government, and across the party as a whole; issues that affect women and priorities for women voters will be Labour’s priorities too.
Cllr Helen Gibson
Edwina Hart AM
Fiona Mactaggart MP
Dame Julie Mellor
Dame Jane Roberts
Cllr Rachael Saunders
Cllr Rohini Simbodyal