On the 110th anniversary of International Women’s Day, I wanted to pay a tribute to the many inspiring and strong women that I have had the chance to meet in Edmonton this year. It has been a privilege to hear about their successes and struggles.
I started today in Enfield to celebrate local suffragettes who fought for women’s rights, finally achieving their aim in 1918 when some women were granted the right to vote. Women have achieved a lot since then, but we still have a long way to go.
I unfortunately see too many of my constituents suffering from domestic or sexual violence and struggling to get the help they need. Too many women not being treated adequately for mental health issues or anxiety disorders. Too many women struggling to make ends meet because of shamefully low salaries or because of a lack or social care of childcare infrastructures. Too many women facing increasing levels of sex discrimination, harassment, misogyny and violence.
Sadly, many policies introduced by this government are turning back the clock on equality for women. Cuts to public services and social security and austerity measures are landing disproportionately on women. The government have taken limited action to improve gender equality and ensure better access to justice. This is simply not enough.
Labour in government will strengthen legislation around sex discrimination and introduce policies to tackle the structural and economic barriers that stop women from reaching their full potential.