Labour has some brilliant women in local government – now we need to act to ensure there are more of them

I wrote this for my LabourList column.

It’s easy to feel down about women’s progress at the moment – not least in local government – but our women councillors give us reason to be optimistic. Continue reading

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A message to Donald Trump

I wrote this following the Women’s March.

As Donald Trump settled in to the Oval Office on Saturday, millions of people worldwide took to the streets to march for women’s rights. In London, Labour members, trade unionists and thousands of first-time marchers mobilised too. Spectators and social media trolls asked why we bothered; what difference does marching make? For me, the women’s march was about hope. Continue reading

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Ending rape culture

It was a pleasure to share a panel with some really fantastic women, including Sarah Champion MP, last night to discuss how we end rape culture. I talked about the rape culture within politics and my experience volunteering at a rape crisis centre.

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In politics as in life, sexual harassment is a consequence-free crime

Here’s an article I wrote for the New Statesman, published today.

Labour might as well copy Donald Trump’s winning ways and have its politicians “grab a woman’s pussy”.  So jokes Mark Steel.

He needn’t worry – British political parties are already on the case. Continue reading

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Theresa May should implement Section One of the Equality Act

Labour’s founding aim is to create a more equal society. Given that huge inequalities set in before children even reach primary school, that mission starts at birth. Putting a duty on public bodies to consider how they reduce inequality caused by social disadvantage, as the Equality Act does, would logically lead to greater investment in early years education. Continue reading

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Use it or lose it?

The Institute for Fiscal Studies yesterday published a report showing that the 18 per cent gender pay gap steadily worsens once women have children. Alongside better quality part-time jobs, affordable childcare, a living wage and equal pay audits, greater uptake of shared parental leave from fathers would go a long way to closing the gap. Labour should set out plans to reform shared parental leave, as part of a bold commitment to eradicating the gender pay gap once and for all. Continue reading

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All-women shortlists are working – and the evidence proves it

I wrote this for LabourList after reading some great research into all-women shortlists.

I joined the Labour Party because I want a more equal society. That includes equal representation for women in Parliament. So far the only thing that has brought us close is all-women shortlists (AWS), yet they remain controversial. Recent research counters common arguments made by opponents of AWS, showing that the women it elects are more experienced and more active once in Parliament. Continue reading

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