In June 2010, we decided to make our voices heard in Labour’s leadership campaign, and to call on all the candidates to ‘lead for women’.
We wrote to all the candidates, asking them to reply to us, setting out their plan of action to make Labour more representative of women from, branch meetings to the shadow cabinet table.
We asked them to commit to take action in 5 key areas:
- Commit to speak out on issues that affect women.
- Act to ensure gender balance at every level of the Labour Party.
- Support a meaningful and well-resourced national, regional and local organisational and campaigning structure for women within the Party.
- Take personal responsibility for a cultural change from the top to the bottom of the Party to tear down the barriers that stop women getting or staying involved.
- Install a transparent and accessible complaints procedure that takes complaints seriously and acts quickly.
After we published the letter online, hundreds of women from right across the Labour Party emailed us to support it, and to add their name.
We are delighted that each and every one of the five candidates for the Labour leadership took the time to reply to our letter, and that the letter from Ed Miliband, Labour’s new leader, gave a strong commitment to ‘lead for women’.
We also hope that the other four candidates for the leadership of the Labour Party will continue to support our aims in whatever positions they hold in the Party, and we hope to work with them on this in the future.