Becoming A Candidate
This party would not have got to where it is today without our team of candidates, they have helped to lead and shape our movement and deliver lasting change. Whether by being elected, or influencing the communities that they campaigned in.
Meet our first Women's Equality Party elected Councillor for Congleton Town Council:
Take a look at what WE achieved in the 2019 General Election:
There is no one way to approach being a candidate, the time commitment and type of work you do can vary greatly according to the type of election you run in, and what you want to get out of the experience
At WEP we are committed to removing barriers to standing to ensure that we have a diverse, effective pool of candidates that represent the full range of women’s experiences. For that reason we are committed to covering our candidates’ childcare costs, and will explore supporting candidates to overcome other access barriers to standing as well.
If you would like more information on the support available to candidate please email [email protected]
This stage involves filling out a form which details your motivations and relevant experience. Candidates at this stage will be assessed against a person specification which can vary depending on the election you would like to compete in.
Candidates who meet the person specification and eligibility criteria will sometimes be invited to interview before being shortlisted. The panel will be made up of party officials relevant to the specific election campaign.
The shortlisted candidates will be put to the party membership for a democratic vote, this can take place online or in person depending on the election.
Take a look at our candidate testimonies from previous years...
Harini Iyengar - 2016 London Assembly, Parliamentary and Mayoral candidate
When I first sought selection as a Women’s Equality Party Candidate in January 2016, nobody asked me to stand, and I had only been to one meeting. I nominated myself after getting a mass mailshot calling for candidates. It was a unique experience in my life to get selected based on my potential and my ability to learn, not on who had recommended me or years of graft. For the first time ever, someone else noticed and cared that childcare costs were a barrier to my political activism, and the Women’s Equality Party lifted the financial barrier for me. Standing for election was very exciting. I was given freedom and respect to canvass and campaign in a way which fitted into the rest of my life, including having a full-time job and being the lone parent of three children. After many years of feeling ignored, alienated and silenced politically, standing for public office, campaigning in the street all around London, writing articles, and giving speeches were very fulfilling acts of self-expression. It was wonderful to belong to and make friends with the 2016 team of GLA candidates of different races, religions, ages, sexualities, with different home lives and occupations - a diversity which I never experienced at university or in my professional life,
Tabitha Morton - Liverpool Mayoral candidate
When I agreed to stand in the Liverpool City Region Mayoral I had no idea what to expect as nobody I knew had ever been involved in politics. It was always something other people did; those with an education, those who hadn't grown up on a council estate, people (mainly men) who had smart answers when quizzed by journalists - my list of why I shouldn't do it was long! What I discovered standing as a candidate for WE was a warm supportive team who wanted me to succeed. I was supported in all aspects from speech writing, appearing on radio and TV and the very important art of door knocking.
Rebecca Manson Jones - London Assembly candidate
When I put myself forward as a candidate for the GLA in 2016, I had never done anything in politics before. I’d voted, I’d joined the Greens, I’d joined WEP, I’d contributed to the crowdfunder and I’d been to one WEP meeting… I knew that I wanted to be active in this party and it was time that I got stuck in.
WEP is a new party – it stands or falls on the strength of the people who show up. The best way to get the best, most diverse and inclusive WEP candidate list is for women from all backgrounds, from all personal and professional experience to offer their stories and vision to other members. The GLA list candidates work as a team, it’s about representing the party and its ideals. We share the joys and responsibilities across the list, across London.
Whether or not you make it onto the GLA list you will have made a generous and important contribution to democracy by offering other WEP members a choice. To make them consider experiences outside of their own.
Dr Sarabajaya Kumar - London Assembly candidate
I have always been politically active with a small ‘ p’ through civil society, but I never thought of putting myself forward for election, until I was strongly encouraged to do so by my wonderful WEP branch leaders. As a women with heritage from the global majority, who had, at the time recently acquired some serious physical and sensory impairments, it didn’t even cross my mind that I, as a disabled woman, could become a candidate. In fact, I told Julz and Tam not to be ‘so daft’ when they suggested it. I couldn’t possibly because... apart from not being able to see very much, as a wheelchair user I wouldn’t be able to put leaflets through the letterboxes or campaign on the doorsteps, to which they replied that I didn’t have to; and that there were plenty of other ways I could participate in politics; and anyway, I wouldn’t be alone, they would help me. And it’s true - they do, as do others. Being elected is not a solitary activity but the sum of collective action.
I found it nerve wracking, exciting and surprisingly enjoyable to take part in my first hustings and I was very pleasantly surprised to be elected to the GLA list, but having serendipitously ended up as a candidate, I would totally encourage all women to put yourselves forward, so you can be, as Shirley Chisholm the first African American woman to run for President in the US in 1972 says, ‘the catalyst for change’. The experience has been fabulous. I have learned so much from so many colleagues and friends and the opportunity to work with like-minded feminists with similar values, all working towards a similar vision for a more equal world, is definitely energising. My advice is just go for it!