How will you increase women’s representation as council leaders, metro mayors and police and crime commissioners? If the PLP falls below 50% women at next GE will you implement positive action and push for a manifesto commitment make AWS legal until unnecessary?
Supporting women with high quality training, and the opportunity to be mentored by other women in the Labour Party, is critical to achieving better representation in parliament, local government and amongst metro mayors and PCCs. The Labour Party NEC has an important role to play, including encouraging Labour networks, affiliates, CLPs and Labour Groups across the country to seek out women, from all walks of life, to run for elected positions.
AWS has played an important role in achieving better representation of women and reaffirms the responsibility that the Labour Party has in supporting women in being elected to public office in this country. We support AWS and will vocalise that support as NEC members, and to audiences beyond the Labour Party.
- Will you support and promote the Jo Cox Women in Leadership Scheme and other evidenced ways of accelerating the advancement of diverse Labour women across the country?
We will support the Jo Cox Women in Leadership Scheme, speaking up for it at NEC meetings and offering our support to the programme in any way that might be helpful.
Our Labour movement includes women from diverse backgrounds who would make fantastic elected representatives. However, the party must be better at proactively seeking these women out, with targeted comms, networking events, mentoring opportunities, and development programmes like the Jo Cox Women in Leadership Scheme.
We need the Labour Party to recognise that experience and talent manifests itself in many forms, and at various maturities. But too often women are made to feel they must be the final ‘product’ before they’re considered as a candidate, or for other opportunities. A young talented woman is told she is inexperienced and overlooked, whilst a young talented man is told he is full of potential and offered opportunities to gain experience.
Encouraging women from different backgrounds to put themselves forward for internal Labour Party positions and providing practical help for them to succeed in those roles, will help women from diverse backgrounds build their confidence, experience, and their record. Supporting women to succeed, not just celebrating them when they do, will capture the diversity within our own party, helping it to nurture and grow into a pipeline of talented diverse women ready for public office.
How will you reduce male harassment, assault and misogynist abuse within the Labour Party and ensure women activists, staff and representatives are safe on Labour’s watch?
Believe women when they tell us about their experiences.
The Labour Party must have a zero-tolerance position to harassment, assault, and misogyny. The Labour Party shouldn’t just act when harassment is happening to women who have a political profile, but also act when any Labour member has faced this. Our disciplinary processes must be robust, thorough and speedier.
Our CLP meetings and online spaces must be safe places, and the Labour Party must intervene sooner when there are reports of intimidation, which too often result in women disengaging from the Labour Party.
How will you ensure women are front and centre of Labour’s manifesto development and General Election campaign?
Women should be represented at every level of the Labour Party. Our party must also value the different life experience of women, and address practical challenges, like that an in-person CLP meeting held at 7pm on a Thursday is not always accommodating for women with caring responsibilities. If we want women and the issues that matter to women to play front and centre of Labour’s manifesto, then our party has to make sure women play a meaningful role at every level in our party.
As NEC members we would bring the Labour Women’s Network manifesto ideas directly to the NEC and give them enthusiastic support. For us to succeed we must continue to build our support amongst women and deploying our excellent women MPs and the Lords is key to making that happen.
After over a century of male Labour Leaders and likely 3 female Conservative Prime Ministers, what steps will you take to ensure Labour’s next Leader is a woman?
The Labour Party must have a long-term plan to nurture and grow female talent. Women must be given the opportunity to run for all positions, including for seats Labour is likely to win.
The Labour Party must provide women with the platforms to profile themselves within the party and well as to the wider public.
Our party must be willing to give women more than one chance, just like men are given during their political journeys.
Women are less likely to put themselves forward if they feel that anything less than a perfect performance at all times will be ridiculed and punished, and hinder their future chances of being selected as candidates.
Only one person at a time can be Leader of the Labour Party, but the bigger pool of talented women, the more likely that leader is to be a woman.
For male candidates only, name a time you have stepped aside to ensure women can advance, acted as an ally or otherwise shared your power
In 2005 I was ready to become the candidate in my local constituency. I was council leader, I had the declared support of a former local MP and had a high profile. The party declared the seat as AWS. Rather than appeal or fight, as other men did, I advocated for the decision, inside and outside the party.
As Leader and Chair of the LCF/LGC, I have always supported AWS and equal representation. We had a 50/50 cabinet, and now a 50/50 shadow cabinet and a 50/50 labour group. I have sought to support women members to advance, in terms of personal development and their political careers. (Tudor Evans)