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.
Muslim women are often seen as being oppressed to the point that women around the world see us as having no voice of our own. Add "Pakistani" to the mix and you get a picture of desperate women crying out for Western saviors to come and free us from our patriarchal society. However, we are not all docile creatures under the thumb of the men in our lives - we can and do speak up for ourselves, but our voices are often lost behind those of white feminists. Women equality is both a global and a personal issue - we are all trying our best, as individuals, to do whatever we can for the women throughout the world. This means that a Pakistani Muslim woman's voice is just as important as any other woman on the planet. It is no doubt that Pakistani and Muslim women often suffer from the worst kinds of misogyny, but we are just as capable, if not more, for standing up for these women as a white woman. Movements like WPE affect women on a global scale and so, as a Pakistani woman, I support it with all my heart .
I am Transgender and I have fought against being cast into the male role all my life. I transitioned in 2013 and I am proud to be a woman, and to be finally recognised as a woman by others. As a woman I agree with all the stated aims of the WEP.
I've always been labeled as being a bit 'militant' but really I never have been; i just can't stand to see people being treated differently and I've always stood by that whether it be different treatment due to gender, preferences, colour, socio economic background, wealth, tastes, percieved attractiveness, or where you come from. It's just unfathomable. There's inequality everywhere, little things, subtler things so engrained in our culture we don't notice. I gently educate my colleagues and friends every time they act in a way that exacerbates inequality. And now we have the vehicle to do it on a much wider scale and really address it once and for all. So that why I'm here!
I never thought of myself as a feminist - because, when I was growing up I (naively) believed that we were now living in an enlightened age, where I didn't need to fight the good fight any more and equality was a given! 20 years later and now I've realised how wrong I was. I feel that within the context of women's equality, we have very much taken 'one step forward and several steps back'. Howsoever this has come about I don't quite know - what I do know is that we still need a strong united front to act for the interests of women in particular and for equality in society overall. I believe that WE will provide the impetus for change that I've been looking for.
When I was around 13 (I'm now in my 40s) I stood up in an English class with my friend to present our project. I can't quite remember the exact nature or point of the project but it involved us holding up job titles and asking the rest of the class if they thought a man or a woman would do that particular job. As you would expect (being a WEp member/supporter) the answers were stereotypical with nurse being seen typically as a woman's job and a doctor being seen typically as a man's job etc. And me and my partner raged about the unfairness of this and how women and men should enjoy equal opportunities in the world. When nearly ten years later I went to uni and studied psychology, particular as it relates to women and women's lives I raged again but naively thought that the world must be getting better for women. But I left uni for the real world and realised not much had changed attitudinally, economically, structurally. Now 30 years on from my first feminist action I have an 8 year old who is amazing and brilliant and confident and sees the world as a land of opportunity. I don't want her to be disappointed. I don't want her to modify her dreams and aspirations to fit into a society that doesn't value her. I don't want her to have to work twice as hard for less money to get where she wants to be. I don't want her to have take on more than 50% of parenting responsibilities if she decides to have children with a man. I don't want her to have to continually draw upon her resilience to feel comfortable in the body she was born with because the images she sees in the media don't reflect her reality. I don't want her to over sexualize herself to consider herself attractive. I don't want her to become a victim of gendered violence. I want all of these things for myself but more than that I want them for her. I don't always have too much faith in her world being transformed to the degree I would like and have outlined above but what I do have is a desire and a passion and moreover a reason (in her) to do all that I can to help achieve those aims.
I am about to start some research that goes beyond the statistics of how many women are underpaid and how few are in senior posts in all aspects of our world in the UK. I too am exasperated by eye rolls, everyday sexism, and the pervasive negative attitudes to gender discrimination. My joy when WEP was founded lifted me then and does still now. For the first time for a very long time I am hopefully our WPE objectives will have impact and create change.
My mum is a former hippy feminist who raised her daughters to see the world as it is, not how we'd like it to be, and how to change it. I don't believe in judging people before knowing them. We have to work together, all people, to change the world.
I never considered myself a feminist, mainly because I believed in the hype that you read about so called "feminazis" (I hate that word). It was around the time that Caroline Criado-Perez campaigned to have a woman on a bank note that I started to talk note, and realised that I was in fact a feminist too. I also noted with horror the sheer torrent of abuse that she received because of it. Rape and death threats for wanting a woman on a bank note? More recently we have Charlotte Proudman. Whilst personally I would not have shared the man's details, she was perfectly in her right to do so. In response she has been dragged through the press, had her family estate publicized, every Facebook conversation scrutinized since the beginning of time and has received death threats. For calling out a man on being sexist? I believe in feminism because I want equality. Because I want women to have a voice and not to be afraid to say what they think for fair of threats of rape and death. Until this is achieved, we will never be equal. S
I look forward to the time when the default response to somebody voicing issues of inequality and feminism isn't a condescending eye roll. I look forward to a time when my views aren't belittled by being told that I'm looking for things to be offended about and the end of restrictive, oppressive gender stereotypes/expectations for all!
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!
We should be much further on than we are in terms of equality. Some of the attitudes I encounter in the media, online and in person make me question whether the year is actually 2015. It can be exasperating and needs to change.
And it's driving me mad! I have too many conversations with well-meaning people which fall apart because of semantics and nuance. I love that the Women's Equality Party offers a clear vision of what we need to achieve for an equal society - who can argue with the merit of any one of the six objectives? - and through it, we can reach so many people who are otherwise divded on gender equality issues.
When I had daughters as well as a son I saw what I'd stopped noticing; that our society is massively unequal and my children will have different opportunities and societal expectations based not on their abilities but on their gender. I think that #WE can change this.
When I return to work part-time after having a child my career was over. I was sidelined, undermine, bullied and harassed. When I stood up to it all I was ostracised and then selected for redundancy! When I decided to take it further I was not believed! The stress and trauma I endured has had a detrimental affect on my health leaving me with the chronic illness 'Fibromyalgia', thus having an impact on my ability to parent.
addressed to my son, and asking if he would like to sell MY house! Have a look at the electoral roll by all means - I don't mind - but some seriously troubling assumptions STILL being made in 2015! #everyday sexism ...
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've always believed I was equal to anyone, often in the teeth of others' disbelief. Women are a majority of the population, not a special interest group. Injustice and bigotry sicken me - until we achieve equality for all women in the UK (and then the world!) I won't be satisfied. #WE can do that, and I'm not waiting around for it to happen when I can help.