Women speak out on the economy

Two hundred people packed into the Fawcett Society’s hustings on Women and the Economy, at King’s College, London to weigh up the proposals and views of four leading politicians. 

With Anne McElvoy of the Economist keeping a rein on the debates, the audience quizzed Priti Patel, Conservative Treasury Spokesperson, Stella Creasy, Labour Shadow Spokesperson for Business Innovation and Skills, Anuja Prashar, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Beckenham and Rebecca Johnson, Green Party candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn.

The event was a rare opportunity to hear the political parties debate the concerns of women and the economy, despite women being crucial participants in the workplace. Proceedings were streamed live across the country and stimulated lively Twitter discussions.

Topics included low pay, the merits of quotas for women in the boardroom, prospects for austerity, plans for building affordable housing and legal aid for domestic violence cases. 

Girl guide with a question at Fawcett Economy hustingsMembers of Girlguiding, which has published a survey of the views of girls and women for six years, wanted to know what the parties would do for young women, particularly pursuing careers in the male-dominated STEM industries of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

Anne McElvoy commended the event: “With the election results looking so close to call, the political parties have turned their attention to women. So this hustings is worthwhile and relevant to the political mood.”

Fawcett Society Chair Belinda Phipps thanks everyone who took part: “It was great to see such an engaged and enthusiastic crowd and hear first hand the issues that matter to them. Our hustings helped clarify the different approach the parties take but also where there is common ground that we can build on.”

Picture Credit: Spencer Griffiths

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