Back in the late 19th to early 20th century, an incredibly powerful and vicious war was being waged.
There wasn’t a weapon in sight, but hundreds of innocent people were injured and mistreated for standing up against discrimination. It sounds like I might be describing a scene from a vicious world war film. But this was the reality for a number of woman who dared to speak up against the state and act as a voice for long suffering woman throughout the United Kingdom, individuals who had their voices muted, woman who had for so long believed that their society, tainted by unfairness, was the only way to live.
The suffragette’s were a group containing many of the strongest woman this country have ever seen. They fought long and hard for woman’s right to a vote. They fought for woman’s rights to choose. They were imprisoned and force fed during hunger strikes. And all at the hands of a male dominant Government who may have expected woman to stay ‘back in the kitchen where they belonged’.
Finally, in 1918, woman over the age of 30 with property could vote. It was a step in the right direction.
So, you wouldn’t blame me for being rather perplexed as to why, after all this hard work and supposed win for ‘equality’ within our modern day democratic state, woman are still fighting tirelessly for the right to be seen equally.
Reports show that our little island has in fact, the SIXTH largest pay gap in the whole of the EU. Females are also the least represented in our Government despite obtaining a majority within our country, with a mere 143 politicians out of a staggering 650 being female.
And there was me thinking we were lucky to have as many rights as we do…
But times are changing. The wheel has been set in motion for what could be and should be a complete reform of our political system here in the UK.
Welcome Sandi Toksvig OBE, writer and presenter known by many for her Radio 4 show and quiz show ‘Fifteen to One’ on Channel 4.
2015 sees the launch of a party founded by Toksvig after the presenter left her radio show to support it’s initial lift off.
The Women’s Equality Party
It’s creation comes after much humour on Sandi part regarding the current state of our Politics.
“I’ve made jokes over and over again about politics. Do you know, this election I’m had enough”
It seems that this single-issue party, with the goal of producing a society with equality for all, has been a long time coming.
The Women’s Equality Party will strive for the benefit of all.
You might be fooled into believing, as it’s name states, that this party will only matter to those who identify themselves as female. But the inequality that we see all around us is at the expense of all. It’s a fight for all.
The party aims to tackle issues such as the current Gender Pay Gap and the lack of representation within politics, which will be a success for all, not least the woman of the 1968 Ford Sewing Machinist Strike who triggered the Equal Pay Right back in the 1970’s, an act that ‘prohibits favourable treatment between men and woman’ apparently… (Watch the Made in Dagenham film if you want to know more!)
This is a party which will hold it’s own as it stands between larger, more establish parties with men at the forefront.
We have already seen a change in our political systems face when this year, we saw three female politicians represent political parties during televised debates. This could be the push our country needs for reform.
Until we have equal rights for both men and woman, we can’t say we are truly a democratic country, nor a country of free speech. Change of this kind paves the way for equality for all minorities.
Men who look to take on the role of stay at home fathers would be better off. Higher job roles would see more competition and better candidate selections if all candidates, regardless of sex, were treated equally.
Working woman would no longer have to worry about the struggle of maternity leave. All human beings would stand the same.
This is important for all, not just woman.
So regardless of who you are or your interest in politics, read more about The Women’s Equality Party. The party hopes to field candidates in 2020 so there are lots of opportunities for everyone to get involved. Many woman and men have already stood up to support them. So let your voice be heard because god knows, woman over the years have fought hard enough for that right.
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