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.
Although not quite as old as some of the other founders I am nevertheless a recent convert at the age of 46. For every woman who makes it how many have been left behind?
As a teenager in the sixties, with two younger brothers, profoundly deaf making my way in a world that seemed geared to people nothing like myself, I became politically aware before I knew what that meant. My passion for fairness, equality, diversity and justice for all began in those years when I railed against the way in which I was expected to behave and live my life. I have to be WE because that should be the way to equality for all - though I worry about women who are not white, not middle class, not disabled, not hetero - you can fill in the gaps here - and want to see them as well represented as the party grows.
I've been a working woman for most of my life, as my mother was and were my grandmothers before me. I believe in women's financial, political and personal independence. The fact that women are designed to have babies should not be a reason to disadvantage us. If we leave it to men to decide what the rules are, what we are permitted to do and what matters the most , we must remain silent. Let's not.
I find it quite difficult to write my story. However I have read about 10 of the more famous feminist books. A lot of men have issues with the uber-masculine culture. I just finished reading a book called “The Confidence Code – the art and science of self –assurance, what women should know” and I found it very helpful. (http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Confidence-Code-Science-Self-Assurance-What/dp/006223062X) I believe that when women are released from the prison of society’s expectations and stereotyping then men will be able to escape from a similar prison (going from memory I think that Germaine Greer says this in The Female Eunuch).
Having done some volunteer work in schools, I was horrified to discover archaic gender imbalances deeply entrenched in the boys and girls. Girls are being set up to fail. I am exasperated by how feminism has become a dirty word and I don't understand how we went from Girl Power to No Power. I do know I want to change it.
I would describe myself as a 'fairist'. In my lifetime, I damned well want the same status for women that men get. I simply cannot believe that in the 21st Century we are not there yet! I have never been angrier in my life than I have been this year, living through yet another tory government and observing their abuse of the poorest and most vulnerable in this country - and I cannot put up with the lack of empathy and sympathy from Westminster any longer. By joining WE, I know I will be uniting with people who do not think it is weak to collaborate, nourish, listen, care, protect, put right, lead by persuasion... All the things which have been missing from politics for a very long time. Now is the time to finally seek real balance. I know WE can make a REAL difference!
We need a different approach to politics one that is consensual and inclusive and seeks to serve the common good, not what individuals can get out of things for themselves. Joining WEP feels like a really positive step - the first time I've joined a political party!
None of the mainstream parties address the issues of gender equality that are so important to me. I want all girls to have the same confidence and determination to succeed that I was brought up with - let's start effecting real change in this country.
I am 62 years old and racing towards retirement, exhausted by the 35 year struggle in early education and family work to make equality a reality to women and their families. Why have we had to wait so long?
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.
It is so important that we all have a voice and women's equality is a vital stepping stone to providing a platform and opportunity for our perspectives to be voiced, discussed and integrated into every aspect of life. It has been a phallocentric world for centuries. By which I mean that so many basic rules and functions of society, social, cultural, political, religious are created in the image of a men's perspective. Now women earn their own place in society and the world we need to actively participate in the way the world works. This is our opportunity and to be grasped with every enthusiams and grain of energy we can give to it. I joined to honour my mother, grandmother and the great aunts I never met.
For the Women that are still asked if they plan to have children in interviews, for all the Women on the website pregnant and screwed. For all the managers paid so much less and all those that would have liked to be managers but discrimination prevented it. For the fact that being born with sexual organs comes with an expectation to fulfil a lifetime of unpaid under-appreciated work. For the Women’s ideas that must be repeated in Men’s voices to be heard. For all the girls and boys pushed into boxes that don’t fit and turned from vast horizons to small ones. For the Father's who are thought to be babysitting not parenting. Partners that share equal household work so are 'under the thumb'. For the Women killed each week by their partners and Men hurt in the street by thugs. Because consent is a ‘grey area’. Because if we can’t get true equality here how can we expect it of others. For me as a teenager earnestly discussing whether we would have been better off being born a boy, for the little girl that was called bossy, for the adult woman that struggles with the effect of her menstrual cycle on her life. For everything I’ve missed here. For everyone.
I believe WE can fill the gap in UK politics toward hundreds of thousands of women and girls who had taken refuge in this country and became British citizens with the hope of have a better future for themselves and their children. I believe WE can attract a large portion of women from non-white section of the society, take them under its wing and use their talents, creativity and knwoledge to make Britain a better place for all. WE can take the message of equality and fairness to those communities who are new to the concept and believe still in women as second class citizens even in this country. WE can deal with problems women face in communities which are plagued by religous fundamentalism and where Sharia laws are imposed to sugjugate women. Such notions should have a place in the modern British society and I believe WE should have a section to focus and deal with them. I joined We to help address this marginalised and yet important snd sizable section of the British society.
I joined WE as a proud feminist, a woman's woman, someone who wants a party spearheaded by the amazing Sophie Walker, to achieve all of the 6 objectives and more!!! I want to live in a world where WEmen make immense strides forward in all aspects of commerce, are equally represented in parliament, respected, judged on their words, ideas and deeds not their looks or relationship status!!! I want to live in a world where being a part of WE means that I am surrounded by proud strong confident and supportive women, who walk the streets day or night, empowered, boldly looking the world in the eye, instead of worrying if what they are wearing will attract unwanted attention and furtively shuffling by!!! I believe that WE must stand together as sisters, the young, old, married, unmarried, mothers and the childless, support encourage and empower one another in every arena of life!!! WE can achieve equal representation, WE must support our branches and connect to work on our political goals together. I want to see The Everyday Sexism Project as a standard text in Women's Studies on every school curriculum as mandatory reading material!!! I want to see the word "spinster" imbued with connotations of independence, financial liberation, and empowerment, where every single woman jumps off the shelf, joins together with others and creates her own colourful living story!!! WE spoke to the heart and mind on every level, and I answered the call with every fibre of my being!!!!
I was involved in socialist politics with a left-wing boyfriend. I began to feel that women's needs weren't addressed and our voices were silenced. One day I turned up to a meeting wearing a reversible coat. My boyfriend didn't like the lavendar colour on the outside, so I reversed it so only the sober navy blue was showing and only a tiny amount of the lavendar colour showed on the cuffs. Later at the same meeting my boyfriend made a sexist remark about me, once again trivialising my contribution. I stormed off, but not before I had taken off my coat and reversed it back so that lavendar was showing and the navy blue only peeked out at the cuffs. I later discovered lavendar to be one of the suffrage colours. I realised then and there that I wanted the same for my politics as I did for my raincoat: I wanted my women's politics to be on the outside. Yes, some of the issues are the same, like low pay can affect both sexes, but I wanted our issues to be visible. It's taken over thirty years from that moment, but at last, we have a women's party. WEEEEE!
The W.E.P and the W.I are larger rivers of strength filtering through to the smallest tributary's as small as a vein under my skin. Sharon Dolphin Diarist and Poet.
I have joined WE in the hope that together we can challenge the way the world - by and large - treats and views women. We can be under the illusion that feminism is no longer needed now we have all and sundry paying lip service to equality in their party or corporate rhetoric, or believing that getting drunk and bedding some bloke is liberated. Sadly, we are possibly more enslaved than ever before because we are deluded into thinking that we have achieved liberation or even equality. Violence against women is something I feel particularly passionate about. Since I fisrt learned with real horror (I must come from a sheltered background) that 60%of women in the country where I was then working suffered domestic violence on a regular basis. How shocking it was to me to realise so many people could not even feel safe in their own homes! I suspect a similar number is women in this country are victims of this too often hidden and ignored horror. I want to do something to stop it. Help me, sisters.
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.
I am passionate about challenging the inequity in representation and diversity in senior leadership in education. The statistics are uninspiring that despite the educational workforce being 73% female heavy, that only 28% of Headteachers are female. In the spring I connected with 6 other women in educational leadership via social media and we founded #WomenEd. We are a grassroots campaign to challenge and inform educational reform. We have 2500 followers, 150 blogs and an event next weekend exploring the barriers females face in the educational world. We have sparked interest globally from our campaign and will be launching regional networks in the coming months. The #WomenEd Unconference will connect 225 existing and aspiring leaders. Check out our website here: www.womened.org Follow us on twitter @womened #WomenEd