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.
There are so many reasons that I am WE, but when I think about it most of them stem back to confidence, or lack of. I want WE to help girls and boys grow into confident women and men, in a society where they feel able to be who and what they want to be. WE can help to change the social structure that constrains both sexes in education and work, through to media and fashion. Despite popular rhetoric to the contrary, we don't live in a post-feminist society and WE is here to remind us of this. I want to keep pushing for equality so that my children are free to be themselves, and are inspired and confident enough to challenge the world around them and keep pushing the boundaries, so that their children don't have to.
As a young woman working in investment banking I was never paid the same as the men but I also noted that the men just assumed they were respected, AND WERE, until or unless they blotted their copybook in some way. We women had to earn the respect at each step and level through sheer hard work, innovation, going above and beyond the norm, etc before there was a level of inclusion or possible advancement. Now, 30 years later I see my 30 year old niece reach a level in business where she is getting the same treatment and I have a 17 year old daughter who is highly capable and at this stage believes she can do or be anything she wants. I want to work to ensure they have a genuinely equal chance to do that and don't have to look back and see their daughters still in the same position.
I have been standing up to achieve fairer organisational change on equality for more than 10 years. I've learnt that to make any change we need to shift societal views, by challenging gender stereotypes and this can only be achieved by greater representation of women in leadership roles in politics, business, media, supporting women with caring responsibilities, campaigning for equality in parenting, shaping a fairer education system to truly address the imbalances that exist across society today. I want to achieve this today for the five generations in the workplace and for tomorrow for our children and the generations to come. I feel in tune with the objectives of WE and was compelled to sign up. The time is now. Join the party!
I'm 33. I have a husband and own a house. I have a BSc and a MSc and 10 years experience in the Water Industry. I've worked as an Engineer and as a Scientist. I've always been the bread winner but now I am disabled. It feels like I'm clinging to my job by my fingertips. Why? Because even though its 2015 I'm the only woman amongst 14 men. I took a roundabout route to get here as I was always told well done, you are good at Singing, Dancing and English Lit. No one ever said well done your are good at Maths and Science. I didn't see the constant double standards as I do now. I would like to campaign and do more to encourage young women in Engineering but I work, eat and sleep because that is all my energy allows for. I'm up now finishing a presentation for tomorrow because, when you get down to it I need to out perform the men. To make a point and I shouldn't feel like that. Its from years of hitting attitudes head on. My current team are wonderful but the attitudes are still out there. Feminism is about equality for everyone. We all deserve it. We as a society can do better.
I want to see a world where women in positions of power have their looks unscutinised. Where the media can portray women as positive role models in the eyes of young girls. Where the media stops enforcing gender stereotypes.
The women's liberation movement of the 1960s and 70s, now called second wave feminism is where my commitment was initially sparked. I am also committed to ensuring real equality between men and women, not neoliberal individualistic or the 'selfie generation' style equality.
And I want my sons to grow up believing in equality and having the courage to practice it because they see how everybody benefits.
And am excited it has re-emerged centre stage for this launch .
Women (and men) are still subject to discrimination if they prioritise family over work - deprivation in the form of monetary hardship and loss of dignity due to lack of respect for the job they are doing. This is because financial support (generally prioritised by men) is given more value in today's world than emotional support (which is generally prioritised by women.) Feminism has a long way to go, as the equality women have gained is assessed through the eyes of men - there is no equality for the feminine approach. A feminine (more caring) approach would also be the best way to address the mental health crisis.
British politics is desperately in need of a totally fair and transparent party, supporting a change in balance for women.
...and the millions of others like her. I'm fed up with feeling that I don't have a political voice in any meaningful sense. I want more women in Parliament, representing our half of the electorate, as well as truly equal pay and properly equal opportunities in wider society (and I don't just mean paying lip service). WEP has given me hope that together we can make all this happen. I know it won't materialise all at once, but if we are tenacious and determined, eventually it will. The Suffragette movement got us the vote, now we need to raise their banner again and not lower it again till true equality is a reality. I want women's equality in the UK to become something so natural that our grandchildren (of both sexes) don't even have to discuss it any more. Is that really too much to ask?
And with the advent of more multiculturalism, I am concerned about women's hard-won rights and respect generally for women being maintained as other cultures often have very different views of women than ones that most people on here would subscribe to.
The first thing to go when a society is in trouble are women's rights. Historically, hard won rights can be lost in moments, so it is vital that we are vigilant in guarding the rights we have gained so far, while we continue to press for genuine equality. As the grateful beneficiary of the rights that women before me have demanded and won, and as the mother of two young girls, it is imperative that I continue the campaign.
I would like to see a change in some mens attitudes to women. Those attitudes are now very old-fashioned.
It's now vital that invisible work - particularly care work - isn't ignored in our democratic system as it's part of the human condition. Also, it's unbelievable in this day and age that women and men tend to not have a VOICE when caregiving. And that we are not valued for this work/role (or whatever we want to call the time devoted to it) and rewarded fairly, rather than penalised in allowances, welfare and household tax. The focus is too much on how to move people on from care, into different roles in an increasingly consumerist society, where GDP depends on selling services, outsourcing even the care of people we love, young and old. WE must rise above this and challenge the notion that human beings are capital. In a truly progressive, intelligent world we should be valuing care itself for the enormous contribution it makes, socially, economically, educationally, to communities, to family lives, to our children, to our relationships with one another. From birth until the end stages of our lives, when more and more people rely on being cared for - hopefully with respect and empathy, with time and love. For too long we've not properly recognised that caregiving is key to human survival, happiness, prosperity (etc) and just as important as other aspects of life we fight for. It follows that mothering is worth fighting to protect. Frankly the alternative is unthinkable and will impact on everyone's lives as the economy sucks up people's time into more 'measurable' activities that count on someone's balance sheet, but which has little to do with building more secure lives for greater numbers of people.
sexism is deeply engrained in society, any endeavour to dig it out and put it to shame must be applauded. I hate to say it but women are also part of the problem, the language they use, the opinions they support are as sexist against their sisters as their male counterparts. Our WHOLE society is predisposed to sexism. Its going to be a long hard task, we need patience and we need to point out sexism whenever we encounter it, whether its a female saying that another woman has 'Got herself pregnant again' (that would be a miracle in itself) to 'She only got that job because she slept with her boss' These phrases undermine the whole of female society and we must become aware of them if we are to truly start to move forward. Lets stop trying to 'fit in' with the male environment, appeasing them in order to make our lives easier. It hasn't worked, its not going to work. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a happy, productive and satisfying life no matter which corner of the globe you reside.
Too many women are scared, embarrassed, ashamed to talk about the problems or injustice that they feel about being a women in this society. It is seen as dramatic, ungrateful or even worse due to our menstruation. I think we need politicians that will stand up as women for women's issues; as opposed to the women that, yes, whilst physically are women, only focus on and promote a male agenda. Yet equality is not necessarily fair. We need to reassess the characteristics that we as a society value- emotion is not weaker than rationality, being a caregiver is not lesser than being a CEO. Everyone has something to offer and we need a party that realises this.
I'm 71 and I think I probably first identified myself as a feminist in my early teens, when I realised that all I was expected to do was to get married and have children. I've replaced men in several jobs, including farm work and banking, and been paid much less than the men who were sacked. I've been sexually assaulted - when I went to court the magistrates bound me over to keep the peace and fined my attacker less than a local poacher was fined for stealing a pheasant. When I had an interior decorating business, a male client ignored me and addressed all his questions to my male employee, who replied "You'll have to ask the boss." "Where is he then?" the client asked. "She's here," said my employee, pointing at me. As a supply teacher I was patronised by a 13-year-old boy in a woodwork class, who refused to accept what I told him, saying "Women can't do woodwork." And so on... Altogether, I've been pretty pissed off about inequality.