The suffragettes were fighting for women’s rights over 100 years ago.
They recognised that women’s representation, having a voice, and having a vote were the keys to women’s rights and gender equality.
And in those one hundred years we’ve come a huge way in advancing women’s rights.
The Liberal Democrats are proud to have played a role in this fight. In coalition, the Liberal Democrats brought in shared parental leave and required all large employers to report their gender pay gap. And last year, Wera Hobhouse’s fantastic backbench bill made upskirting a specific criminal offense, and gave women the tools to report it as a crime.
But there is a long way to go.
It is blatantly ridiculous that in 2019, products that both men and women use are gendered and are on average 37% more expensive than when they are for women’s use - whether they are pink razors, girl’s toys or women’s house insurance.
It hurts us all when mothers take the lion’s share of time off to care for a new child, and fathers immediately return to work.
And it is not good enough that across all industries, men still hold the vast majority of top jobs. We need to do more to identify, encourage, train and promote people from all backgrounds.
Most urgently, we have to have better representation in Parliament. While 47% of Lib Dem MPs are now women, less than a third of the MPs that sit in Parliament are women – and as a result our country is lagging behind when it comes to legislation that makes a difference to women – whether that is women’s rights in the workplace, support for survivors of sexual assaults and even the cost of a razor.
We have a long way to go and we know we have a long way to go but the Liberal Democrats have put together a motion to help us take the next step in the fight for gender equality.
You can read the full text of the motion here:
The Liberal Democrats demand a better deal for the women of Britain. This motion is how we will achieve that.