18th November 2019

Today, women’s and human rights organisations have joined forces to launch a ‘Manifesto for Women and Girls’ to empower voters to have conversations with political candidates about issues facing women and girls and transformative policies for gender equality.
The ‘Manifesto for Women and Girls’ builds on our collective experience to recommend how the next government can:

1. End Violence Against Women and Girls
2. Secure Equal Representation
3. Promote Equality at Work and Home
4. Invest in Public Services that Work for Women
5. Lift Women and Children out of poverty.

You can download the ‘Manifesto for Women and Girls here.

Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, Director of the UK Women’s Budget Group said:

“There is a myth that women have achieved equality, but the facts show that this is far from true. Women still do more unpaid care work which means we earn less, own less and are more likely to be poor. But we can do things differently. That is why we have joined forces to set out the policies that women need at this election.”

Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society said:

“The Fawcett Society is delighted to be part of this strong coalition of women's organisations. This general election falls between 100 years since women got the right to stand in parliament and 50 years since the landmark Equal Pay Act. Yet, when women go to the polls in December, the pay gap means they will already effectively have stopped being paid for the year. Meanwhile violence against women is increasing, women still undertake the majority of unpaid care and, basic rights to healthcare, safety and housing are out of reach for many migrant women. At a time when women's voices are being marginalised in politics, this election presents an opportunity for women to raise their voices in unison about the issues that are important to them, we hope that this manifesto will empower voters to have meaningful conversations with their candidates about improving women's equality.

Helen Pankhurst, Chair of the Centenary Action Group said:

"To be truly represented, diverse women need to be at the policy-making table, ensuring their experiences and perspectives are heard. Yet, with a disproportionate number leaving politics citing abuse and attacks on social media, and a lack of transparency around candidate selection, we risk going backwards. To counter this threat, we urge voters to support women candidates and for politicians to adopt the priorities in the Manifesto for Women and Girls developed collectively by organisations fighting discrimination. On the centenary of the first woman sitting in parliament, we must be aware of the dangers of slippage. We must demand better. "

Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters said:

“Minority and migrant women face increasing barriers to basic rights like employment, housing, health, education, welfare support, protection and justice. We have seen the ways in which minority and migrant women have been trapped in cycles of abuse, destitution and discrimination by for example, immigration and housing and welfare benefit rules. We call on the next government to nurture a public culture of unity, equality and justice. We ask that they put into place meaningful laws and policies to turn these principles into a reality for all women and marginalized groups.”

Sophie Walker, Chief Executive of the Young Women’s Trust said:

"Two thirds of young women tell us their confidence in politicians has plummeted over the last year. Many will be looking on with despair at the early stages of this election campaign but there's still time. There's still time for politicians to commit to taking action on the issues that young women face and help achieve economic justice for them. There's still time for politicians to show how they plan to unlock young women's potential, smash career stereotypes, build equal workplaces and value young women's unpaid work. Because when they do, everyone will be better off."

Sarah Green, Director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition said:

“It has never been more important for candidates to commit to making a priority of tackling violence against women and girls. We have the highest number of women losing their lives to domestic abuse for years, and we believe the collapse of rape prosecutions amounts to the effective decriminalisation of rape. The life-saving services in our communities which women rely on to access safety and support are struggling to meet demand because of persistent under-funding. The asks in this manifesto are a minimum way for candidates to demonstrate they are serious about turning this harm around.”

Eleanor Lisney, Director of Sisters of Frida said:

“While everyone is distracted by the election, a new report says the disabled women face an ever higher pay gap than disabled men and all disabled people still face pay discrimination. In many aspects of daily living, disabled women lose much in terms of care support and face bleak prospects. Through this coalition, we call on candidates not to forget to include disabled women in equality issues."

You can download the ‘Manifesto for Women and Girls’ here

For more information please contact Fresh Communication:
Fresh Communication 0117 369 0025
Or [email protected] on 07957 338582

The ‘Manifesto for Women and Girls’ is supported by:

  • 50:50 Parliament
  • Agenda
  • Care International UK
  • Centre for Women's Justice
  • Equality Now
  • Girlguiding
  • Glitch
  • HerCentre
  • Imkaan
  • Latin American Women's Aid
  • Latin American Women's Rights Service
  • Refuge
  • Sisters of Frida
  • Southall Black Sisters
  • Surviving Economic Abuse
  • The Centenary Action Group
  • The End Violence Against Women Coalition
  • The Fawcett Society
  • Welsh Women's Aid
  • White Ribbon
  • Women in Prison
  • Women’s Budget Group
  • Maternity Action
  • NIA
  • Rape Crisis England and Wales
  • Women’s Resource Centre
  • Women's Aid
  • Young Women’s Trust