The EU Referendum on June 23rd sparked much debate on our position within the European Union – how much did it benefit us? Did our membership harm the UK?
An ICM poll for the Fawcett Society showed that women gave both the Leave and Remain campaigns an overwhelming thumbs down, as they failed to resonate with woman voters. The poll found that more than twice as many women as men remained undecided for a long time about whether the campaigns addressed their issues.
Fawcett hosted a live debate event to begin to rectify this: a chance for women from both Remain and Leave to tell us exactly how belonging to the EU would either help or hinder women, and how leaving might do the same. We remained neutral in this debate. For Fawcett, the issue is ignoring women’s voices and needs in the debate, as our CEO Sam Smethers stated:
“Both sides in the EU referendum debate need to address issues of concern to women and proactively engage with them. So far the debate has been male dominated. The polls suggest that women are largely undecided, so there is all to play for. We need a process and an outcome that includes women and represents their views.”
The event presented both arguments, as well as perspectives from the Women’s Equality Party and BritainThinks on the voting habits of women and what we can do to engage women more.
Following the result of the referendum, Fawcett is concerned about what this will mean for the continued fight towards gender equality in the UK. Check out the Face Her Future page to see what we are doing about this.