The Women's Equality Party is a new collaborative force in British politics uniting people of all genders, diverse ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, beliefs and experiences in the shared determination to see women enjoy the same rights and opportunities as men so that all can flourish.
WE are here to give voice to all those who share our belief that equality is better for everyone.
Meet your fellow supporters and campaigners below and tell us why you are WE.
I work with a company of female plumbers (Stopcocks Women Plumbers). The percentage of women in skilled trades is still only around 2%, no one even knows the actual figures because no one bothers counting. There has actually been a fall since the late 80's early 90's in these numbers. I can accept that most women don't want to be plumbers, plasterers and crane drivers, but there is so much more to this. The system actively prevents women from qualifying in skilled trades, yes, here in UK right now. Wouldn't strong female role models of actual strong capable women be great for everyone to see. Women with big tools, fixing things in the homes of the nation and treating customers with respect (don't get me started on that). How better to let girls and women know they can be in control and in control of their own destiny? No one is going to do it for us. I'm in!
All my working life I've seen women propping up men in the workplace. Offering up initiatives the men then take the credit for, together with the promotion AND the accompanying pay scale. They come into the workplace green as grass, they pick your brains and then suddenly they're listened to whilst you were never taken seriously. If there's a job going previously occupied by a male, and you're up for the position - they will offer it to you, of course, because you have the expertise and they need that - but the 'title' of the job will be changed, i.e. executive instead of manager, and the pay scale, of course, will be much lower! Then there's the 'old boy network' which I've had to put up with for years, along with all the condescension which goes along with it. Masters of the Universe, and capable of not much really. Thankfully this breed is dying out, but not fast enough for me. I'm not anti-men, not by a long shot. Just pro-justice. Fairness for every segment of our society has been addressed by the PC brigade but the women's cause is still bottom of the priority list, not taken seriously. After all, we've let it go on this long haven't we? The gals are still the ones sat at the front desk while the guys are, on the whole, the most likely to get the seat at the big desk.... Let's stop being emotional about this and get the laws tightened over women's employment rights, once and for all!
As someone working in the corporate world I am continually shocked by the lack of women in senior roles. I see people who have all the soft skills, qualities and knowledge, who do not rise to the seniority required. This is an obvious and quantifiable element of sexism, but it exists in far more subtle, difficult to measure forms. Why do we need sexual equality? Because everyone should get the same treatment no matter what their gender, race or background. Because we can only have the best society by letting people reach their full potential and to be rewarded properly. Because a fair society is a society where everyone feels that their hard work, ability and achievement is compensated. Because nobody should feel uncomfortable because of their gender. Because so much talent and ability is wasted as a result of sexism.
Getting to a place to support my family involved constant barriers, young mum, overweight, not pretty enough , regular class, no degree, loads of ideas but no status. I struggled to get on past all those who didn't have my perceived disadvantages. Then I moved into a male dominated industry, but found that as I enjoy it so much, my gender is no longer an issue, people respect my experience. I want to share that no-one should feel dumbed down - it's all in your control
I want my son and daughter to be able to give their children better answers, and I think that #WE can help to make this happen in a way that nothing else has so far.
I was raised to believe that men and women were born equal, and there was a time when I believed it. Now that I've reached my mid-thirties, and I can see I'm living in a society that is absolutely riddled with sexism. And I see other societies the world over where things are as bad, or worse. This needs to change, and the only way it will is if we take a stand.
I have been fighting for women's equality personally and professionally since I can remember: from asking why priests had to be men in Sunday School age 3, to asking my work to address the fact that nobody in the senior management team was a woman last week. I fight for other things I believe in too: disability rights, self determination, social justice, children's rights, carers rights; against poverty, injustice and ugly stationery (cupcakes, WHY WHY WHY??? ;) If mainstream political parties took women's equality seriously, there would be no need for #WeAreWE. But even though there are some really good people fighting for women's equality in all the political parties, at the moment it isn't a huge priority for any of them It's the WEP's ONLY priority. I am proud to be a founder member and hope you will join too: gender inequality hurts women AND men and stops us being the society we want and need. We need you, and all your friends and family to join us and help us get there.
I joined WE to make it just as ok for my husband (and my sons) to say he wants flexible working, part time work or to stay home with his children, as me. I want to build a society where that is not looked on as weird, controversial or being difficult. Until men can make those choices without judgment or prejudice, women can't be free of the feeling that they are expected to take on the role of homemaker and/or caregiver.
I have 3 sons and I want them to grow up without predjudice. The world will undoubtedly be a better place if we are all able to contribute equally. It's important that those of us who can campaign, do so to improve the lives of those who can't.
In a period of time in which we have seen a General Election Campaign, the start-up of a new Party and, a long Leadership Campaign in one political party, there has been a continuous questioning fired at Parties: when are you going to do this? why aren't you doing that? what are you doing about something? And often, there has been a proviso: I shan't support you unless you do this, you won't have my vote if you don't do that. Yes, it is the job of a party to channel , prioritise and then push for those demands to be met through the implementation of policy. But there can be an over-reliance on this. In truth a Party, in having to prioritise, will not be able to represent all demands placed upon it. And when it does, the implementation of policy may have less of a reverberation than that really required to change things. A law may be changed but societal attitudes may take a long time to catch up. So, we also have to look beyond just a Party if we really want to change things. It isn't enough to merely tell a Party what we want of it: it isn't enough to give practical help to the Party in order to achieve that which it has prioritised. There is something else that is required and that is, that each of us have to individually be the change that we wish to see. As individuals we should live as far as we can, or push for as far as we can, that change that we wish to see. We, ourselves, have to go out on a limb like an astronaut leaving the mother ship on a safety line into an unknown space. Change demands that we venture into the new in our lives until it becomes our familiar. And if it seems scary, then we are held and sustained by that which is already familiar to us: our homes, our family, our friends. They are the safety line that enables us to venture into the new, experience the new and become excited by the new. As individuals we can be the change we want to be. We might say, through a Party, that we want a society that recognises that women can build and make things as men can do and we want it to provide for that in the interests of equality. But when my elderly neighbour recently said that she needed a new garden fence, I planned out how to make one, went to the DIY shop and bought the wood and metal joints and took some fence paint I had in my shed out and made her a new fence. Shortly afterwards, a male builder said in a tone of disbelief "You made that fence?" In order to truly bring about change, I believe that it is not enough to demand of a Party that it does the whole work for you but, that you have to also live the change and be the change you want .
It is all good on paper, the policies are improving in addressing the gender equality. However, the real environment is not encouraging at all. We are living in a society where it is acceptable for women to be paid less, our voices to be void and our abilities to be underestimated. I am expecting my first child. I want my child to be raised in a society where her/his chances for a better life will not depend on the gender. I am pleased to see the establishment of a political party that understands our needs and will truly stand for our rights.
Having travelled during childhood and marriage with the forces I have experienced many cultures of inequality in so many places. I have (since the age of 7) been a feminist, as my father and former husband used to remind me often, but in such a negative way. It's time to re brand the word feminist to be seen as naturally positive, to be shared widely with men as well as women, and to affect the world in a forward thinking, collaborative, and exciting way. I truly believe that a party focussing on the feminist issues can force change. Its time to hold hands.
A build-up of experiences brought me here. I have sadly experienced too much sexism and it has to be stopped and taken seriously. I hope WE can achieve an equal society where women are safe and able to achieve what they can without inhibition.
I joined WE because I feel that the mainstream parties are not addressing the issues that matter most to me. Still with a freshly elected Labour Party leader, the old shibboleths remain and the narrative, whilst better than the Conservative alternative, is fixed upon the traditional battle grounds of rich vs poor, lower tax vs higher tax and amongst all this tribal clamour, my fear is that the profound change that is required to improve the lives of the disabled, elderly and vulnerable children in Care, will just not happen. When the "Care" systems fail, it is often the women in our society who are left to bear the brunt and pick up the pieces. My hope is that the WE party will really focus on these issues and bring a much needed spotlight to the profound change that is required. To successfully bring about fundamental change to the lives of those in most need would have a truly transformative effect on our society.
As an engineer, I have seen first hand the systemic sexism that continues in our society. I rarely encounter individuals who believe that sexism (and other discrimination) is acceptable, but so many people (men and women) are unaware of structural discrimination built into the way we live and work. Identifying, challenging and changing these unconscious biases will benefit everyone and make this a fairer and better place for us all.
It's too easy to sit back and feel that others can take care of the big picture. We are the picture..we have to be the change.
I want to be out in the world changing it for the better through positivity. I am WE because equality is a no brainer, it benefits everyone. Girl power is a force for good and a move to the future. I joined this party for every woman who came before me who paved the way to the freedoms I have today and for every person in the future to make sure they have it even better, no matter what religion, what race, what sexual orinentaion or even what gender.