Women’s Equality Party Conference 2023
Policy and business timeline
Saturday 4th November - Sunday 5th November
New to conference or need a refresher about party business?
Find out more about party business >>
Read the full guidelines and FAQs >>
Party business is a really important part of the conference agenda where delegates get together to debate and vote on motions which shape party policy and the way the party operates. If a motion is voted for by party members at conference it is adopted which means it either becomes the party’s official policy, or it changes how we run our party. Debating motions is a key part of party conference and getting involved in it is an important way for members to collectively shape the party.
Read the standing orders:
1. Preparing to submit a motion
While preparing your motion, make sure you:
✔ Read the official motion guidelines, the policy document, the appropriate sample motions form and the constitution.
✔ Research the issues you are considering motions around to build up your supporting evidence.
✔ Discuss with your branch what motions you want to collectively submit OR if you want to submit as an individual, gather support for your idea(s) among other members. Remember, you will need the support of at least 19 other members for any motion.
Submissions open on 14th August
2. Drafting and submitting your motion
✔ Draft your motion using the appropriate motion form - business motion form or policy, special debate and emergency motion form.
✔ Double check it against the official motions guidelines.
✔ Ask others to proofread your motion.
✔ Attend a motions workshop or the policy building session to understand how to create great motions,
✔ Assign someone as the named proposer on the proposal. If your motion is selected, the named proposer will need to present it to the conference.
✔ Submit your motion by the deadline by emailing it to [email protected]
Submissions deadline has been extended to 9.00am on Monday 18th September
After careful consideration, the motions deadline has been extended following feedback from members to provide some additional time to submit motions. Party business is a vital part of our conference and developing our party policy, and we know this conference was ahead of our usual schedule, so members we not expecting to have the opportunity to prepare and submit motions this year. This will not affect the date of publication of motions.
3. First Review of Motions by Committees
The WE Agenda Committee (WEPAC 2023) will review all the motions submitted. The threshold requirements for a motion are:
The supporter and proposer requirements are met;
It is clear and concise and precise;
Does not exceed word limits;
Does not contravene the constitution; and
Is directly relevant to WE's seven objectives and/or mission
WEPAC 2023 may refuse motions on the grounds of lack of time for debate, which involves a process of selection. Motions that are more likely to be selected are:
genuinely new and interesting (not a repeat of existing policy/business); and/or
on a subject where WE don’t have much policy or which hasn’t been debated at conference recently; and/or
on a subject of high political salience; and/or
likely to lead to an interesting debate, with enthusiastic speakers on both sides.
For more information about how WEPAC 2023 make their decision, please read the motions guidelines.
During this stage:
the Committee may suggest changes to a motion to help clarify it, and/or
if there are duplicate motions, the Committee will negotiate with the proposers of each duplicated motion, to see whether the motions can be merged.
Following review, motions will be published on the party website and members will be informed.
Motions will be published on 29th September
4. Review of Motions by Party Members
Motions are sent out to members, giving them the opportunity to propose amendments. An amendment changes part of the wording of a motion to introduce a new idea or improve an existing one. If an amendment is passed by conference, the amended motion is the version that will then be debated.
If you would like to submit an amendment to a motion, you should:
✔ Read the amendment guidelines in the official motions guidelines.
✔ Notify the Agenda Committee of your intention to submit an amendment.
✔ Gather support of your branch/caucus OR if you'd like to submit an amendment as an individual, find the support of four other members to back your amendment.
✔ Submit your amendments using the form by the deadline to [email protected]
The deadline to submit amendments is noon on 13th October
5. Emergency Motions
Emergency motions are the same as standard motions, but can be used for issues or circumstances that have arisen after the 13th September deadline for standard motions. If you would like to submit an emergency motion, you should:
✔ Read the emergency motion guidelines in the official motions guidelines.
✔ Notify the agenda committee of your intention to submit an emergency motion.
✔ Gather support of your branch/caucus OR if you’d like to submit as an individual, find the support of 19 other members to back your emergency motion.
✔ Submit using a motions proposal form by the deadline to [email protected]
Emergency motions may also be proposed during party conference at the sole discretion of the Conference Chair.
Deadline for emergency motions is 26th October
6. Review of Amendments to Motions by Committees
Now the Agenda Committee works to manage any revisions to amendments if any further clarity is required and the final versions of motions and amendments are prepared for conference.
Amendments to motions will be published on 26th October
7. Debate of Motions at Party Conference
At conference the motions will be debated and voted on. Find out more about motion debates.
Important points about submitting a motion
Motions can be submitted by party branches/caucuses, 20 party members working together, the Steering Committee, the Executive Committee, the Leader and the Policy Representatives.
Every motion has to have a named ‘proposer’ and this person will need to speak at the conference to introduce the motion, if the motion is selected
Motions have to accord with the party’s constitution and take existing party policy into account.
Party members will have the chance to review and submit amendments to motions before the conference.
Amendments can be submitted by party branches/caucuses, five party members working together, the Steering Committee, the Executive Committee and the Policy Representatives.