“We have to seize this opportunity to come together.”
Today, the Women’s Equality Party gave a standing ovation to a cross-party panel. WE co-founder Catherine Mayer was joined by Conservative MP Nicky Morgan; Sal Brinton, President of the Liberal Democrats, and Green Party Deputy Leader Amelia Womack. Labour Party declined the invitation whilst a representative of the SNP was unable to attend.
In a post Brexit UK, cross-party collaboration is crucial to hold the government to account on women’s equality. The panel were united in calling for mandatory Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) in every school and in ensuring pay transparency measures coming into play in 2017 serve as an effective means of closing the gender pay gap. The panel was chaired by Diva Manc, an organisation expanding women’s roles in devolution in Manchester.
A Women’s Equality Party member called from the floor for Theresa May to appoint a gender balanced cabinet and Brexit team. Conservative MP Nicky Morgan welcomed the call and encouraged delegates to hold our Prime Minister to account on women in top jobs in government, saying: “I’m going to leave my future career to one side – because this is about more than just one person”.
Liberal Democrat President Sal Brinton, who leads her party’s work on diversity and inclusivity, called for greater flexibility in work and for job-sharing to be the norm. These calls were echoed by Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader of the Green Party, who have taken forward a court case seeking to win candidates the right to stand for public office on a job-share basis. The Women’s Equality Party are calling for flexible working as the default.
Catherine Mayer told the packed room: “This Party was started not to create another exclusive club – but to break open the club”. Women’s Equality Party members of the Green Party, Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Greens were present in the session. It was the first time that a political party has hosted senior members of other parties at their own conference.”