Tag: West Worcestershire

Virtual Hustings – Natalie McVey’s Response

Virtual Hustings – Natalie McVey’s Response

Thank you to Natalie for responding to our questions. Natalie is the Green party candidate for West Worcestershire.

1. A Caring Economy

What will you do to support carers – professional and family-based – and how will your social care policy understand their work as a vital social investment rather than as a financial drain? What will you do to build a caring economy?

I believe we should invest in the below areas as a priority:

  • Bring in universal, free childcare for all – this will aid parents when paid leave from work comes to an end, and will enable them to go back into work, knowing their child will be cared for
  • Increase the rate of pay for Carer’s Allowance to a minimum of £75/week (currently ~£67.20/week) and also have it increase at the rate of inflation each year, and recognise ‘unpaid’ informal care as eligible for Carer’s Allowance. Carer’s Allowance, should also be more flexible so that it can aid carers who also work whilst supporting family members, and ensure it is not means tested based on income.
  • Have an urgent, independent, review on the impact of cuts to social care funding, with an emphasis on the impact to disabled children and their carers. The Green Party would work towards restoring the funding for those frontline services which have borne the brunt of the cuts.
  • Work towards integrating both social care and health care services in order to better support our carers, and to ease the burden on the healthcare services.
  • Build more social housing, and making it affordable – cap rents to a certain amount (a third of the average income of the area, for example), remove the cap on family benefits, or at least exempt housing benefit from the cap, remove the bedroom tax which is undoubtedly discriminatory towards carers and disabled people.
  • Furthermore, when considering housing, we should also ensure that there is adequate funding for those fleeing from a dangerous or domestic violence situation, so that they have somewhere safe to go to, with support for children included, if involved. We understand that it is fundamentally important to ensure that those fleeing an abusive situation are supported so that they do not have to return to such a situation.
  • Reverse the changes to disability benefit – when claimants are moved over to Personal Independence Payments from Disability Living Allowance, if they have a life-long condition, they used to be entitled to a ‘indefinite’ claim, in recognition of the condition under DLA. When these claimants are moved to PIP they lose this indefinite claim status, thereby forcing them to undergo assessments to prove an entitlement to a benefit they already had. This causes unnecessary stress on families and carers, and should be prevented, with the indefinite claim status being maintained.

2: The Impact of Brexit

What will you do to ensure that the voices of women by which we mean all women – white women and women of colour, disabled women, migrant women, LGBTQ+ women, younger and older women – are heard and their rights and needs are protected?

In the seats where the Green Party have a real chance of winning, Brighton Pavilion, Bristol South, The Isle of Wight and Sheffield, our candidates are all women.

There are several keys points that Green Party MP’s would address as a priority, if elected.

  • Ensure any trade deals which are made in the event of Brexit do no impact negatively on either women.
  • Maintain any existing legislation we have derived from the EU with regards to equality, also heavily scrutinise the Repeal Bill to ensure it does not water down the legislation we already have.
  • Maintain membership of the Council of Europe and all the human rights implications which result from this, aka Human Rights Act, which should be maintained.
  • Scrutinise any deal which is made in the event of Brexit, to ensure that it does not disrupt the peace process made through the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.

3: Women & Migration

 

What will you do to restructure the migration system, so that it responds adequately to the gendered realities of migration, separation and multiple marginalization of women and girl refugees?

Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley spent time with refugees, many of them unaccompanied children, in The Calais Jungle, days before it was demolished. What he experienced will stay with him for a life time.

The Green Party in Malvern Hills works closely in support of The Malvern Welcomes Group.

The Green Party would:

  • Ensure that equal rights for women and men are central to any international legislation which is made, likewise for any trade deals which are made between nations
  • Ensure that no person fleeing to another country to escape a domestic violence situation is returned to that country, unless their safety can be guaranteed. Women from another country who experience domestic abuse here in the UK and flee their partners should ne lose their right to remain in the UK
  • End the detention of pregnant and other vulnerable women at Yarl’s Wood detention centre. If women seeking asylum are pregnant or otherwise vulnerable, allow them the full support of social services and the NHS whilst a claim is being processed.
  • Work towards increasing the refugee quota, so we can take in more women and children.
  • Reduce fees for asylum and residency applications.

4: Equal Pay

What actions will you take as Member of Parliament to close the gender pay & pensions gap?

I think that the way that the WASPI Women have been treated has been appalling.

In terms of specific policy, The Green Party would commit to the following;

  • Introduce universal, free childcare for all. This this will aid parents when paid leave from work comes to an end, and will enable them to go back into work, knowing their child will be cared for. This would be brought in to cover the end of paid parental leave after six/nine months.
  • Require that the gender pay gap be broken down further when reported – eg. Age and ethnicity and bring down the requirements for reporting to companies employing more than 50 people, not just large companies with more than 250 employees.
  • Improve the laws protecting women who lose their jobs when they go on maternity leave so that they protect women from the time that they announce their pregnancy.
  • Introduce in a £10 / hour Living Wage.
    • Ensure that security provision seeks to reduce income inequality rather than propagate it it.
    • Review the tax relief for single pensions and work towards bringing in a new, single rate.

5: Equal Education

What will you do to ensure gender becomes irrelevant in our education system and ceases to influence the life chances of all our children?

I have worked in education for over 10 years. I have direct experience of the issue you you point out.

Fundamentally, to address these issues, The Green Party would:

  • Provide free access to sanitary products in school in order to ensure no girl misses school or has to leave during the day in the case of otherwise not having access to these products.
  • Remove gender stereotypes from school. Encourage children to play with whatever they choose to in early years education. Allow either gender to wear the version of the school uniform they prefer.
  • Ensure that Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) is delivered to children throughout their educational life so they always have access to advice on respect within relationships, gender identity, sexual-related topics and issues such as that of consent.
  • Ensure that sexism is treated similarly as bullying within a school setting, with a view to eradicating it from the schooling and education system.
  • Personally, as a former Careers Information Advice and Guidance Professional, I would reintroduce specialist impartial careers advice to all students. I feel that this would help to challenge some of the existing stereotypes regarding a woman’s career options.

6: Equal Parenting

How will you work with us to implement universal childcare and our other proposals to enable all families however constituted – and in employment or self-employment – to have a full and productive family and working life?

This is an issue where I see many synergies between Green Party and WEP Policy and would welcome the opportunity to work together.

Specific Green Party Policy centres around;

  • Introducing a system whereby either parent can take 9 months paid leave from work and free childcare provision to allow both parents to work, if required, when this period ends.
  • Ensuring that self-employed parents to have the same rights and protections as employed parents. Bizarrely they don’t at the moment, so many feel under pressure to find employment before pregnancy, when self-employment may suit the individual better.
  • We would make sure baby changing facilities are available for both genders in public settings.
  • We would better protect cohabiting couples with children who are not married and give them the same access to mediation and other services.
  • We would review the  current arrangements for payment of child maintenance to investigate whether there is a way to have payments underwritten in case of the possibility of an absent parent being unable to make a payment. This would relieve potential financial burden on the caring parent in the case of missed payment.

7: WE require an end to violence against women and girls.

What will you do to ensure that women are safe in their homes, at work, study and in public, that they are believed when they report violence and harassment? What will you do to stamp out the culture that blames the victim and to reinstate vital women’s services that protect and support women and girls fleeing abuse?

I have worked with Worcester Rape Crisis as a volunteer, so have seen how important it is for women to be able to access help and support when they need it. This could be immediately following an incident or 30-40 years later/

In terms of policy, The Green Party would:

  • Ensure that anyone fleeing a domestic violence situation is offered a safe place to live, and does not have to face the possibility of returning to the situation they were fleeing from.
  • Provide better funded provision for services for advocacy and support for women who have been raped, ensuring that it is available for all, regardless of their BAME status or age.
  • Monitor the perpetrators of violence and harassment so that they are more restricted from accessing their victim once they have been convicted, if jail sentences  have not been given.
  • Provide better services for male victims of domestic abuse so that services can specialise in male or female abuse and tailor responses rather than the current model which either offers a gender-neutral advice system, or neglects male abuse. In many cases the needs for both genders suffering from abuse differ and this should be reflected in the services offered.
  • Reintroduce legal aid for anyone suffering from domestic abuse. Alongside this we would provide better training for officers and officials dealing with abuse cases. I think that it is pertinent that those accused of domestic abuse are not allowed to cross-examine their victim in court.
  • We would work towards ending FGM on a national and international scale.
  • Decriminalise prostitution, recognising it as a valid form of work, and protect those working in the industry. Any money raised from taxing of the sex industry should be used to fund an exit programme from the industry.
  • Properly educate children and young people about sexual consent.

8: Equal Representation:

What will you do as an MP to ensure that women are elected, appointed and promoted at all levels in politics, business, arts, culture, sports, education/academia?

 

As a manager in my day job and a newly elected District Councillor, I have witnessed gender imbalance and will be working hard to redress the balance.

Specifically, The Green Party would:

  • Introduce ‘gender blind’ applications for all posts in industry, so that gender is not a required answer on an application form, and the application is based on the merits of the person applying for the role.
  • Seek to empower women to feel more inspired and encouraged to take up high posts, or positions in politics. As I previously mentioned, this empowerment should come at an early age through impartial Careers Information, Advice and Guidance by well trained professionals. education.
  • There are many countries which have representative democracies, particularly in Scandinavia. We should learn form these examples and adapt our systems accordingly.
  • We would make it illegal for companies to have all-male boards and chairs.
  • We would enforce existing laws against gender discrimination, especially for those who work part-time.
  • Encourage a system where people are judged on their merits and abilities, not their gender.
  • Reform the voting system, including making it more accessible by more introducing electronic voting.

9: Equal Health 

 What are your proposals to create a health service that recognizes gender difference and offers equality of care and research for all?

The Green Party would:

  • Facilitate an inquiry into why there are such inequalities in healthcare.
  • Put an end to the models of research which perpetuates a bias towards men
    i.e human models used for research were male, or not enough females took part in the research. This would recognise there is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach that can be used for medical and healthcare research.
  • Ensure that there is universal access to sexual health services, alongside universal access to reproductive advice for both genders. Everyone should have access to free contraception as well as free emergency contraception if required.
  • Decriminalise abortion in the whole of the UK, recognising that women have the right to choose.
  • A better integrated health and social care system would ensure that all needs are cared for, and no requirements are missed. In my opinion, a more concerted effort should be put into prevention and education, rather than intervention.
  • Ensure that the NHS, our national treasure, is adequately funded, free at the point of use, and protected from a creeping privatisation.
    • Ensure that mental health is treated with parity to physical health.
    • End the 1% freeze on public sector pay.
  • Reinstate the student nurses bursary and ensure that all negotiations with regards to changes or contracts are conducted with both the BMA and the RCN.

10: Equality in the Media

How will you hold the media up to scrutiny and challenge the reductive gender stereotyping which it perpetuates? How will you act to end the attempts to suppress women’s and minority voices on social media?

You may be aware that Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has been an active campaigner for the ‘No More Page 3’ Campaign. If elected i would join her in fighting for an end to the objectification of women.

Generally speaking, The Green Party would;

  • Update ASA standards to disallow the undisclosed airbrushing of models, and adverts featuring models of an unhealthy weight, so as to not encourage women to aspire to such images.
  • Strengthen the current OFCOM legislation around the broadcasting of idealised images. Push companies use more ‘normal’ weight models and ensure that companies cannot ask models to lose weight as a term of employment.

You may be aware that we recently launched a Women’s Manifesto which I am positive will answer any unanswered questions you may have.

https://greenpartywomen.org.uk/assets/files/gpwomen-files/Women’s%20Manifesto%20online%20(2).pdf

I hope that The Green Party and WEP continue to work together for a fairer, more equal society.

 

 

 

 

WEP Virtual Hustings – West Worcestershire Constituency

WEP Virtual Hustings – West Worcestershire Constituency

On the 1st of June we emailed 10 questions about Women’s Equality to all the candidates standing in the General Election 2017 in Worcestershire’s six constituencies.

We will post their answers here on Wednesday evening so you can see at a glance how they responded. Click on the links to see the responses.

These are the candidates for West Worcestershire

Harriett Baldwin– Conservative

Samantha Charles – Labour

Edward McMillan-Scott – Liberal Democrats

Natalie McVey – Green

Mike Savage – UKIP

Virtual Hustings – Samantha Charles’ Response

Virtual Hustings – Samantha Charles’ Response

Thank you to Samantha for responding to our questions. Samantha is the Labour party candidate for West Worcestershire.

1. A Caring Economy

What will you do to support carers – professional and family-based – and how will your social care policy understand their work as a vital social investment rather than as a financial drain? What will you do to build a caring economy?

Our social care sector is in crisis, with severe consequences for the quality of care, public finances, personal assets, pressures on unpaid carers of family and friends, often women, and delays to discharging patients from hospitals.

Care services have been slowly but relentlessly privatised. In recent years, one in ten people reaching the age of 65 have faced lifetime care costs of over £100,000, with some homeowners paying the entire value of their homes.

The Conservatives’ cuts have led to £4.6 billion lost from social care budgets, despite rising demand. Around 1.2 million older people have care needs that are going unmet. Care in the community has become a cover for unseen neglect.

In our first term, Labour will lay the foundations of a National Care Service for England.

Our first urgent task will be to address the immediate funding crisis. We will increase the social care budgets by a further £8 billion over the lifetime of the next Parliament, including an additional £1 billion for the first year. This will be enough for providers to pay a real living wage without cutting the quality of care they provide. It will allow implementation of the principles of the Ethical Care Charter, already adopted in 28 council areas, ending 15-minute care visits and providing care workers with paid travel time, access to training and an option to choose regular hours.            

Labour will also increase the Carer’s Allowance for unpaid full-time carers to align the benefit with rates of the Jobseeker’s Allowance.

2: The Impact of Brexit

What will you do to ensure that the voices of women by which we mean all women – white women and women of colour, disabled women, migrant women, LGBTQ+ women, younger and older women – are heard and their rights and needs are protected?

The Labour Party is the party of equality and seeks to build a society and world free from all forms of racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Labour has a strong record on progressing women’s rights and freedoms that we can be proud of.

Labour brought in the Equal Pay Act, the Sex Discrimination Act, the Equality Act, the Minimum Wage and introduced Sure Start. Every progressive piece of equality legislation has been delivered by Labour.

Under the Conservatives, progress is being rolled back for women, people with disabilities, LGBT people and BAME communities. Cuts to public services and social security are landing disproportionately on women and ethnic minorities, with 86 per cent of the money raised from the Tories’ tax and social security changes coming from women’s pockets.

It was a Labour government that enshrined the rights and freedoms contained in the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law, marking the birth of the Human Rights Act.

Devastating cuts to the Equality and Human Rights Commissioned by the Conservatives reveal their real attitude, beyond the rhetoric, to issues of equality and discrimination. These cuts have been made amid the rise in hate crime recorded by the police in the last year. A Labour government will enhance the powers and functions of this commission, making it truly independent, to ensure it can support ordinary working people to e ectively challenge any discrimination they may face. A Labour government will reinstate the public sector equality duties and seek to extend them to the private sector, ensuring all citizens benefit from this Labour legislation.

The advances for women in Britain and around the world have been fought and won by determined women working together for real change, often in the face of resistance and even abuse.

Labour has a proud record on progressing women’s rights and freedoms. We brought in the Equal Pay Act, the Sex Discrimination Act, the Equality Act, the Minimum Wage and introduced Sure Start. Ours will be a government for women, with a cabinet of at least 50 per cent women, which fights inequality and misogyny in every part of society.

A Labour government will gender audit all policy and legislation for its impact on women before implementation.

Labour will continue to ensure a woman’s right to choose a safe, legal abortion – and we will work with the Assembly to extend that right to women in Northern Ireland.

Violence against women and girls continues to be a global epidemic, affecting an estimated one in three women worldwide. In the UK, on average two women are killed by their current or a former partner every week. Under the Conservatives, over a third of all local authority funding to domestic and sexual violence services was already cut by 2012.

Labour will appoint a new commissioner to enforce minimum standards in tackling domestic and sexual violence.

A Violence Against Women Commissioner would also provide stable central funding for women’s refuges and rape crisis centres and encourage sharing of best practice between local authorities.

Maternity discrimination under the Conservatives is out of control, almost doubling in the past ten years. Many mothers are reluctant to raise complaints about discrimination and unfair treatment. Unlawful maternity and pregnancy discrimination is now more common in Britain’s workplaces than ever before, with 54,000 pregnant women and new mothers forced out of their jobs in 2015. Labour will reverse the unfair employment tribunal fees which literally price people out of justice. Labour will also extend the time period for applying for maternity discrimination to the employment tribunal from three to six months.

Labour will work with the Health and Safety Executive to make mandatory a workplace risk assessment for pregnant women so necessary adaptions can be made, and review support for women who have miscarriages.

3: Women & Migration

What will you do to restructure the migration system, so that it responds adequately to the gendered realities of migration, separation and multiple marginalization of women and girl refugees?

Labour offers fair rules and reasonable management of migration. In trade negotiations our priorities favour growth, jobs and prosperity. We make no apologies for putting these aims before bogus immigration targets.

Freedom of movement will end when we leave the European Union. Britain’s immigration system will change, but Labour will not scapegoat migrants nor blame them for economic failures.

Labour will develop and implement fair immigration rules. We will not discriminate between people of different races, gender or creeds. We will end indefinite detentions and distinguish between migrant labour and family attachment and will continue to support the work of the Forced Marriage Unit. We will replace income thresholds with a prohibition on recourse to public funds. New rules will be equally informed by negotiations with the EU and other partners, including the Commonwealth.

Whatever our trade arrangements, we will need new migration management systems, transparent and fair to everybody. Working with businesses, trade unions, devolved governments and others to identify specific labour and skill shortages.

Working together we will institute a new system which is based on our economic needs, balancing controls and existing entitlements. This may include employer sponsorship, work permits, visa regulations or a tailored mix of all these which works for the many, not the few.

Labour will protect those already working here, whatever their ethnicity. Our National Education Service will raise the level of skills and training. We will take decisive actions to end the exploitation of migrant labour undercutting workers’ pay and conditions.

Labour will crack down on unscrupulous employers. We will stop overseas-only recruitment practices, strengthen safety-at- work inspections and increase prosecutions of employers evading the minimum wage. Working with trade unions, we will end workplace exploitation.

Labour values the economic and social contributions of immigrants. Both public and private sector employers depend on immigrants. We will not denigrate those workers. We value their contributions, including their tax contributions.

For areas where immigration has placed a strain on public services we will reinstate the Migrant Impact Fund and boost  it with a contributory element from the investments required for High Net Worth Individual Visas. Labour will restore the rights of migrant domestic workers, and end this form of modern slavery.

Labour will ease the underlying pressures in any areas struggling to cope with seven years of austerity by our programme of investments. We will not cut public services and pretend the cuts are a consequence of immigration.

Refugees are not migrants. They have been forced from their homes, by war, famine or other disasters. Unlike the Tories, we will uphold the proud British tradition of honouring the spirit of international law and our moral obligations by taking our fair share of refugees. The current arrangements for housing and dispersing refugees are not fit for purpose. They are not fair to refugees or to our communities. We will review these arrangements

4: Equal Pay

What actions will you take as Member of Parliament to close the gender pay & pensions gap?

Work should provide people with security and fulfillment. But for too many people work is insecure and does not make ends meet, especially for women.

The Conservatives boast about the recovery of employment, but our labour market is failing. Real-terms pay is still lower than before the crash, and jobs are increasingly low skilled and insecure. The gap between men and women’s pay still exists some 45 years after the Equal Pay Act.

A Labour government will invest in enforcement through a new Ministry of Labour, and empower workers and their trade unions – because we are stronger when we stand together. So we will review the rules on union recognition so that more workers have the security of a union.

At the same time as strengthening workers’ rights, including equal pay for women, we will make work more fulfilling by using public investment to upgrade our economy and create high-quality jobs. While the Conservatives stand back and allow insecure work to spread, Labour will act to guarantee good jobs and businesses.

The next Labour government will bring in a 20-point plan for security and equality at work:

  1. Give all workers equal rights from day one, whether part-time or full-time, temporary or permanent – so that working conditions are not driven down.
  2. Ban zero hours contracts – so that every worker gets a guaranteed number of hours each week.
  3. Legislate to ensure that any employer wishing to recruit labour from abroad does not undercut workers at home – because it causes divisions when one workforce is used against another.
  4. Repeal the Trade Union Act and roll out sectoral collective bargaining – because the most e ective way to maintain good rights at work is collectively through a union.
  5. Guarantee trade unions a right to access workplaces – so that unions can speak to members and potential members.
  6. Propose four new public holidays – bringing our country together to mark our four national patron saints’ days. These will be additional to statutory holiday entitlement so that workers in Britain get the same proper breaks as in other countries.
  7. Raise the Minimum Wage to the level of the Living Wage (expected to be at least £10 per hour by 2020) – for all workers aged 18 or over, so that work pays.
  8. End the Public Sector Pay Cap – because public sector workers deserve a pay rise after years of falling wages.
  9. Amend the takeover code to ensure every takeover proposal has a clear plan in place to protect workers and pensioners – because workers shouldn’t su er when a company is sold.
  10. Roll out maximum pay ratios of 20:1 in the public sector and in companies bidding for public contracts – because it cannot be right that wages at the top keep rising while everyone else’s stagnates.
  11. Ban unpaid internships – because it’s not fair for some to get a leg up when others can’t afford to.
  12. Enforce all workers’ rights to trade union representation at work – so that all workers can be supported when negotiating with their employer.
  13. Abolish employment tribunal fees – so that people have access to justice.
  14. Double paid paternity leave to four weeks and increase paternity pay – because fathers are parents too and deserve to spend more time with their new babies.
  15. Strengthen protections for women against unfair redundancy – because no one should be penalised for having children.
  16. Hold a public inquiry into blacklisting – to ensure that blacklisting truly becomes and remains a thing of the past.
  17. Give equalities reps statutory rights – so they have time to protect workers from discrimination.
  18. Reinstate protection against third party harassment – because everyone deserves to be safe at work.
  19. Use public spending power to drive up standards, including only awarding public contracts to companies which recognise trade unions.
  20. Introduce a civil enforcement system to ensure compliance with gender pay auditing – so that all workers have fair access to employment and promotion opportunities and are treated fairly at work.

A Labour government will ensure Britain abides by the global Labour standards of the ILO conventions.

All workers should be able to work in a safe environment and return to their families at the end of the day. Labour will enforce regulations that save lives.

As well as legislating against zero hours contracts, there are many more workers on short hours contracts (some only guaranteed a few hours per week), but who regularly work far more. We will strengthen the law so that those who work regular hours for more than 12 weeks will have a right to a regular contract, re ecting those hours.

We will also scrap the changes brought in by the Conservatives in 2014 to TUPE, which weakened the protections for workers transferring between contractors, and we will abolish the loophole to the agency workers regulations known as the Swedish derogation.

5: Equal Education

What will you do to ensure gender becomes irrelevant in our education system and ceases to influence the life chances of all our children?

Education is what empowers us all to realise our full potential. When it fails, it isn’t just the individual that is held back, but all of us. When we invest in people to develop their skills and capabilities, we all benefit from a stronger economy and society.

At a time when working lives and the skills our economy needs are changing rapidly, governments have the responsibility to make lifelong learning a reality by giving everyone the opportunity to access education throughout their lives.

To meet this responsibility, Labour will create a unified National Education Service (NES) for England to move towards cradle-to-grave learning that is free at the point of use. The NES will be built on the principle that ‘Every Child – and Adult – Matters’ and will incorporate all forms of education, from early years through to adult education.

When the 1945 Labour government established the NHS, it created one of the central institutions of fairness of the 20th century. The NES will do the same for the 21st, giving people con dence and hope by making education a right, not a privilege for all children regardless of gender, ethnic group or background and building bridges where the Conservatives build barriers.

6: Equal Parenting

How will you work with us to implement universal childcare and our other proposals to enable all families however constituted – and in employment or self-employment – to have a full and productive family and working life?

Labour will introduce double paid paternity leave to four weeks and increase paternity pay – because fathers are parents too and deserve to spend more time with their new babies and strengthen protections against unfair redundancy – because no one should be penalised for having children.

Maternity discrimination under the Conservatives is out of control, almost doubling in the past ten years. Many mothers are reluctant to raise complaints about discrimination and unfair treatment. Unlawful maternity and pregnancy discrimination is now more common in Britain’s workplaces than ever before, with 54,000 pregnant women and new mothers forced out of their jobs in 2015. Labour will reverse the unfair employment tribunal fees which literally price people out of justice. Labour will also extend the time period for applying for maternity discrimination to the employment tribunal from three to six months.

Labour will work with the Health and Safety Executive to make mandatory a workplace risk assessment for pregnant women so necessary adaptions can be made, and review support for women who have miscarriages.

7: WE require an end to violence against women and girls.

What will you do to ensure that women are safe in their homes, at work, study and in public, that they are believed when they report violence and harassment? What will you do to stamp out the culture that blames the victim and to reinstate vital women’s services that protect and support women and girls fleeing abuse?

Violence against women and girls continues to be a global epidemic, a ecting an estimated one in three women worldwide. In the UK, on average two women are killed by their current or a former partner every week. Under the Conservatives, over a third of all local authority funding to domestic and sexual violence services was already cut by 2012.

Labour will appoint a new commissioner to enforce minimum standards in tackling domestic and sexual violence.

A Violence Against Women Commissioner would also provide stable central funding for women’s refuges and rape crisis centres and encourage sharing of best practice between local authorities.

8: Equal Representation:

What will you do as an MP to ensure that women are elected, appointed and promoted at all levels in politics, business, arts, culture, sports, education/academia?

The advances for women in Britain and around the world have been fought and won by determined women working together for real change, often in the face of resistance and even abuse.

Labour has a proud record on progressing women’s rights and freedoms. We brought in the Equal Pay Act, the Sex Discrimination Act, the Equality Act, the Minimum Wage and introduced Sure Start. Ours will be a government for women, with a cabinet of at least 50 per cent women, which fights inequality and misogyny in every part of society.

A Labour government will gender audit all policy and legislation for its impact on women before implementation.

9: Equal Health 

 What are your proposals to create a health service that recognizes gender difference and offers equality of care and research for all?

We will guarantee and uphold the standards of service to which patients are legally entitled under the NHS constitution.

By guaranteeing access to treatment within 18 weeks, we will take one million people off NHS waiting lists by the end of the next Parliament. We will guarantee that patients can be seen in A&E within four hours.

By properly resourcing the NHS, Labour will stop the routine breach of safe levels of bed occupancy, and we will end mixed-sex wards

10: Equality in the Media

How will you hold the media up to scrutiny and challenge the reductive gender stereotyping which it perpetuates? How will you act to end the attempts to suppress women’s and minority voices on social media?

 

We will improve diversity on and off – screen, working with the lm industry and public service and commercial broadcasters to end rapid solutions to improve diversity.

The Labour Party is the party of equality and seeks to build a society and world free from all forms of racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Labour has a strong record on progressing women’s rights and freedoms that we can be proud of.