You may not have noticed it yet but you will. History is being made this week.
A group of women and one man from London and Wales gathered yesterday morning for a workshop focusing on the London and Welsh Assembly elections. Most of us had put ourselves forward to stand as candidates in either London or Wales for the Women’s Equality Party. A few people were staff from the party, the rest were volunteers (leaders in their field) who had given their time to facilitate the session.
It was the first time WE selection candidates had met in this way and it marked the beginning of a new way of working in the political sphere. Most of us have never entered the political arena before. How exciting is that?
WE were all there because WE know that the current imbalance of Equality in the UK has to change, and that WE can’t rely on the traditional structures that govern us to make those changes.
This is what Tanya Moodie one of the facilitators said about the event on Facebook:
This morning I did one of the coolest things I most likely will ever do. I co-facilitated, along with Stella Duffy, Jenifer Toksvig, Fiona Lindsay and Jen’s friend Rob, a presentation skills workshop helping potential Women’s Equality Party mayoral candidates and candidates for the London assembly to prepare for the first hustings next week. All of them are extraordinary and brave women who have put themselves forward to be voted on by the WEP membership to then find the ones who will go forward for the actual public ballot. This was a historical day with pioneering women. Thanks for inviting me, Stella. #WEaremakingherstory
I’ve been a founder member of WE since October 2015 and these are the things I have learned about the Party and the aspects of it that have inspired me to stand as a candidate in London.
- It isn’t just for girls and it isn’t only about girls – Women’s Equality is better for everyone.
- WE already has attracted 45,000 members in less than a year, nationally – we are not shouting into the wind…
- WE is non-partisan – beyond the 6 objectives, our members are free to voice their own opinions on other policies.
- WE is collaborative – we are not adversarial and we want to encourage people from all parties – and none – to work with us on creating a society which lives at ease with itself.
How WE say it:
WE are pushing for equal representation in politics, business, industry and throughout working life. WE are pressing for equal pay and an equal opportunity to thrive. WE are campaigning for equal parenting and caregiving and shared responsibilities at home to give everyone equal opportunities both in family life and in the workplace. WE urge an education system that creates opportunities for all children and an understanding of why this matters. WE strive for equal treatment of women by and in the media. WE seek an end to violence against women.
Why me? – I’m standing now because:
- For a long time I wanted to get involved in politics but the structures felt exclusionary and dispiriting. The structure, support and autonomy that WE offers provides a platform for better collaborative thinking and longer term action than the major parties can.
- Post May 2015, too many people I know gave up on politics. Others voted for Jeremy Corbyn in the hopes of giving CPR to traditional politics. I believe that our current system is imploding and it’s time to look again at who does politics and how. I believe that if women want and deserve a better deal, we need to be present at the decision-making.
- I never became a mother but I’d like to see the next generation of girls and boys liberated from the pressures of current gender expectations to open a vista of opportunities for their futures. They will need all the creativity and ingenuity they can muster to thrive in a post-carbon future.
I’ll be a good London Assembly Member candidate because:
- I know London. I’ve lived and worked across this city, and I’ve met and worked with all kinds of people from buskers to bankers.
- I can get people interested in policies they think they don’t care about. I capture stories and experience and relate those ideas and private passions to people from different backgrounds.
- In my day job as a theatre-maker I’m known as someone who speaks for the unheard and for broadening cultural diversity both in terms of participants and audiences.
- I’m good at negotiating and I can work in collaboration, it’s what I do for a living.
- I use the public services which Londoners need, all the time.
- I set up my own business and am now CEO of an arts charity. I understand business and I pay the London Living Wage and/or Equity based rates.
So if you fancy being playing a small role in a little bit of history – now’s your chance. Voting for the selection of London candidates closes on Thursday so best to join before Tuesday – or JOIN NOW!