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WE pick our battles based on how much they matter, not how easy they are to win.
About the campaign
WE are campaigning to make abortion free, safe and legal in every part of the UK. WE are raising awareness of the unjust and arbitrary requirement for women to get permission from two doctors to terminate their pregnancy.
October 27 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act, a law that made abortions easier to access for millions of women in England, Scotland and Wales. The activists that made this possible saw it as a temporary fix, not a long term solution. Because the Act did not legalise abortion, and it did nothing to help women in Northern Ireland.
The current situation
In 2017, women in England, Scotland and Wales wishing to have an abortion still have to prove their pregnancy involves a bigger risk to their physical or mental health than terminating it. They still have to ask for permission from two doctors to end their pregnancy. They still risk prosecution.
In Northern Ireland, basic reproductive rights are so restricted that abortions are almost impossible to access. Abortions are only legal where the life or long-term physical/mental health of the person is at serious risk. There are no exceptions for rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormalities, and illegal abortion carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Nowhere in the United Kingdom do women enjoy full reproductive rights. This has to change and we are ready to lead that change.
WE are campaigning for full decriminalisation of abortion in every part of the UK and we stand in solidarity with women in Ireland. WE are demanding that abortion be moved out of criminal law and into healthcare.
What we've been doing
We marked the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act with a week of action. We called for Amber Rudd to change this outdated and patronising law.
During the first week, more than four thousand people signed a permission slip, 186,000 people connected with our campaign on Twitter, and we held a packed-out rally in London at which Sophie Walker joined a line up of inspiring activist speakers to reflect on the past, present and future of reproductive rights in the UK.
And on Friday 27th Hastings members delivered 406,108 permission slips to the Home Secretary’s office. They represent the number of times women in the UK have had to seek consent for an abortion in the past year alone.
How you can get involved
1) keep the pressure on the Home Secretary to change the law
WE have asked people to sign a permission slip that gives Home Secretary Amber Rudd permission to make abortion legal. On the anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act WE delivered 406,018 permission slips to the Home Secretary - representing the number of times permission was sought for an abortion in the last year alone.
View the permission slip used by doctors today to understand why women need to be trusted.
We need to keep up the pressure on Amber Rudd by building the numbers of signatures over the next few months. We still need your help with this:
2) Meet with other activists to plan our next action
Our members have asked us to take immediate action to update this law. When the 1967 Abortion Act was created, women could only have surgical abortions so they needed to be performed at clinics. But most women now have abortions by taking a pill. Forcing them to take the pill at a clinic can lead to painful miscarriages on their way home.
There is no need to put women through this. On the anniversary of the Abortion Act Scotland became the first country in the UK to allow women to take abortion pills in their own home. The Secretaries of State for Health in England and Wales also have the power to let women take the pills in their home with support from loved ones.
Over the coming weeks local members in England and Wales will be campaigning to highlight this injustice and call for change. Activists are gathering in meet-ups across England and Wales to plan our next action.
3) There's more to come
Stay in touch with us to find out more about our campaign as it unfolds. We will be in touch soon with the next exciting action. Together we can make this change happen.
If you'd like to know more, we've answered your frequently asked questions >>
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WE are making a difference because of people like you.
In our two years of existence, thousands of people have helped build the Women's Equality Party by joining. From standing candidates in our first ever general election to our battle to end violence against women and girls in Liverpool, WE are taking steps every day to build a fairer UK. We can only do all this with the support of our members as unlike other parties, we're entirely funded by our members and supporters.
This is your chance to get involved in the newest and most exciting political party in the country. Our members are working together in every part of the UK to deliver change - because equality is better for everyone. Be part of it.
The General Election on 8 June is a chance to put hope and opportunity back on the agenda.
WE believe the UK can become the first gender-equal country in the world. Our policies will make the economy flourish and create opportunities for everybody.
WE will prioritise building up a sustainable care economy. WE are committed to truly shared parental leave, universal affordable childcare, and health and social care that works for all of us.
WE will work tirelessly to replace the broken funding model for violence against women services so that specialist services can get back on their feet.
WE will not allow women’s voices – including those of BAME women, disabled women, migrant women, working class women and LGBT+ women – to be sidelined by Brexit.
WE are committed to internationalism, a strong relationship with the European Union and continuing membership of the Council of Europe, as well as new trade deals and a new immigration system that ensure human rights and gender equality, and are made for the best economic and social good of the whole country.
On 21 January WE marched across the UK in our tens of thousands, in the biggest mass mobilisation for women's equality in history.
You joined the march. Now join the movement. Together, WE take women's equality from protest to power.
The Women’s Equality Party: Women's March Mission Statement
WE are the Women’s Equality Party and WE defend the rights of women of all backgrounds, beliefs, ethnicities and experiences in order that all may have a voice and so that our country may flourish as women enjoy the same rights and opportunities as men.
WE march on Saturday to reject the rhetoric of division and hate and the rise of xenophobia in this country and around the world. Racism and sexism threaten to roll back hard-won freedoms and halt progress in areas where there is still so much to do.
WE march together because our future and our inequalities are inextricably bound. Unless our future is shaped by the voices of all women – including BAME women, migrant women, disabled women, working class women and LGBTQ+ women – everyone will be poorer for it.
WE march to reclaim our democracy and bring the interests of all women into the political space because the inequalities we face are different, and where our inequalities intersect they magnify to such an extent that nothing short of a movement will dismantle them.
Our March Goals
WE demand an end to violence against women and reject any form of politics that normalises assault and harassment. We view any form of violence against us, including any attack on our reproductive rights, as an attack on our freedom and a step towards curtailing our participation in society, politics and the economy. And so WE say that the UK government must ratify the Istanbul Convention and provide sufficient and sustainable funding for prevention, protection, prosecution and provision of specialist services.
WE demand equal access to work and to worker’s rights. The process of Brexit must not ignore equal pay, shared parental leave, affordable childcare, flexible working or equal access to work. WE say that trade deals must be based on an understanding of how they affect women and men and deliver economic and social good for the whole country. WE say that the value of women’s paid and unpaid work must be recognised through the provision of sufficient and sustainable public services.
WE demand an immigration system that sees women and values their contribution to our economy and to our society – a system that doesn’t trap women in a state of dependency or penalise those who care for their children or relatives. WE will never accept a system and set of priorities that refuses women fleeing violence access to vital services or locks up pregnant women or survivors of torture and gender based violence.
WE demand an equal education system for the next generation so that all girls of all backgrounds may have equal opportunities for future careers and creativity according to the scope of their ambition rather than limited gender stereotypes. WE insist on mandatory sex and relationships education that supports children to understand consent and respect for one another, whatever their sexual orientation.
WE demand equal representation in politics so that our government may go forward to make decisions about our future with an understanding of the different experiences and needs of women. WE say that all political parties must urgently ensure parity of representation for women, including BAME women and disabled women, so that women’s voices are heard as we steer the United Kingdom through a period of unparallelled uncertainty.
The first ever Women's Equality Party Conference took place from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th November 2016 at Victoria Warehouse, Manchester.
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Thank you to everyone who helped to make our first party conference a great success. If you want to be involved next year, make sure you subscribe for our email updates and you'll be the first to hear the details.
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