Our economy and social infrastructure is built on the people who care for others. However, their work, paid and unpaid, is not valued and their vital role has been ignored when the government has devolved powers without resources.
Local commissioning of social care leaves care workers, the majority of whom are women, exposed through zero hours contracts. Reduced funding for children’s centres has made childcare less affordable and less available, driving women out of financial independence and into poverty.
It is time to break the cycle.
Build up a system of universal, affordable childcare for all children from the age of 9 months. The first 15 hours per week will be free and then the rest payable at £1 per hour.
Work towards a caring economy that values the work of those who care for others.
Fight for ring-fenced funding for the specialist services currently provided by the Women’s Hospital.
Prioritise integrated health care and social care to improve the lives of people across the region.
Make every job under the Liverpool Combined Authority flexible by default and open to job-sharing unless there is a good business reason not to; ensure that part-time jobs are paid at the same hourly rate as their full-time equivalents; and make gender-balanced senior appointments for all positions and boards under the mayor’s control.
Give flight to new ideas by bringing together public and private employers, unions, professional associations, think-tanks, academics, NGOs, independent experts and others with creative ideas for how Liverpool City Region can become a global leader where people in all sectors can combine family and work life. This will not only put our city region at the forefront of gender equality and diversity, but will also add significantly to our economic growth.
End the zero hours contracts for care workers and expect a living wage for all.
Violence against women and girls limits women’s opportunities and restricts their freedom in public spaces, as well as at home. Domestic violence is reported every 15 minutes in Merseyside, and across all our communities women are suffering in silence.
BAME women, disabled women, and women with uncertain immigration status are more likely to experience male violence and are also exposed to different forms of it. However, there is no city region wide strategy to end all forms of violence against women and girls in the Liverpool City Region, and devolution and competitive tendering have weakened specialist services to victims and survivors.
Develop and implement a city region strategy to end all forms of violence against women and girls, working with women’s organisations and putting prevention, protection, provision and justice at the heart of all our policies.
Tackle the funding crisis for specialist services and ensure no woman is ever turned away from life-saving services.
Ensure all local decision-makers receive adequate training about the gendered nature of violence against women and girls so that they understand the importance of specialist services that are for, and led by, women, including disabled women and BAME women.
Provide the foundation for specialist sex and relationships classes in all schools across the Liverpool City Region.
Work with the region’s child safeguarding boards, OFSTED, and NHS England to encourage a whole-school approach to tackling violence against girls, ensuring that staff are trained to recognise and respond to signs of violence.
Work with the police so that all officers understand the role of modern technology in violence against women and girls and the nature and consequences of violence and abuse, including why women may choose not to report it or to speak up.
Prioritise better enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Notices/Orders (DVPOs), so that perpetrators are actively removed from their homes, rather than those they have abused being forced to leave.
Work in partnership with specialist BAME women’s services to ensure that FGM, forced marriage and so-called honour-based violence never happen in the Liverpool City Region.
Our education system is failing its children, channelling girls and boys into different kinds of work, and setting the conditions for a gender pay gap. Women take up 94% of childcare apprentices but just under 4% of engineering apprentices. And women are more likely to be out of work at the end of their apprenticeship.
In women-dominated sectors – which our economy depends on – pay is falling, while investment is being directed to male-dominated industries. The gender-blind approach to investment, skills and training doesn’t work. And training and skills need to be followed by new job and earning opportunities. By making full use of these new devolved powers, it is time to change the game.
Use new powers over skills and training to reduce inequalities and to bring equal opportunities for all to learn, to earn and to innovate.
Tackle the gender pay gap at root and branch and deliver an investment strategy that allows all of us to drive our local economy and put Liverpool City Region at the centre of the Northern Powerhouse.
Set monitored targets for applications to the Government’s Innovate UK scheme from female entrepreneurs, ensuring more women secure this vital funding.
Make Growth Hub the ‘go to’ place for people wishing to start up and grow their businesses, working with the G12, LEPs and other organisations.
Work with female entrepreneurs and organisations that provide mentoring and support for women to tackle the female under-representation in employment and business start-ups.
Use a part of the 19+ adult skills budget to boost training for childcare providers, in line with our plan for universal childcare, and encourage more men into childcare careers.
Create 40,000 new jobs with our ambitious childcare plans, boosting the economy and giving businesses access to a larger talent pool and a smaller staff turnover.
For too long women have been under-represented in positions of power and sidelined in decision making. Devolution is a chance to change that.
This devolution deal is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring decision-making closer to our communities. But of the six local authorities across Liverpool City Region there are no female Council Leaders, and women councillors make up less than 30% of cabinet positions across all six leadership teams.
We know that greater diversity makes for better business, and that the North West can’t afford to miss out on the ideas and energy of half its population. That’s why WE won’t stand by and watch an all-male slate of candidates let women’s voices go unheard in this election.
WE are standing the first woman in the race for Mayor of Liverpool City Region to change the debate, and put women’s equality at the top of the agenda
Demand a devolution deal that doesn’t sideline women’s voices, but is shaped by them.
Work towards an expanded devolution deal that includes health and social care and comes with resources, not only responsibilities.
Fight for representation that reflects our communities at all levels of government, and refuse to allow policies to be formed without the participation of women, including BAME women and disabled women.
Put the social economy at the heart of our economic strategy and create economic growth that is driven by sustainability, innovation and creativity.
Make Liverpool City Region an attractive place for large and small businesses, by investing in the physical, the digital and the social infrastructure.
Ensure consultation with small businesses, as well as LEPs, if business rates are raised temporarily to fund infrastructure investments.
Insist on more powers over housing to make housing affordable to all.
The new opportunities offered by the Northern Powerhouse are of little use without affordable and accessible transport. With our current transport system, it takes longer to travel from Liverpool to Hull than it does to make the journey from London to Paris.
Our city region public transport network is both costly and time-consuming, and planning has too often ignored the diverse needs of disabled people. Women are more likely than men to use public transport, less likely to travel long distances for work and more likely to cycle if the cycling infrastructure is safe. Transport investment needs to deliver access and greater opportunities for all of us.
Develop an integrated transport plan, working with neighbouring councils, LEPs, businesses and the third sector. The plan will make transport work for everyone and consider the impact of local road congestion, road maintenance, local public transport, inter-regional and international rail and air connections.
Ensure that all transport investments make our region more accessible, and look for ways to provide better transport for people with hidden disabilities.
Combat street harassment so that women can travel freely around the city region.
Invest in cycling infrastructure that works for women and families, including more segregated cycle lanes.
Encourage developers and construction companies to use only 'direct vision' lorries designed for better cyclist visibility.
Introduce a ‘Night Watch’ service on buses and trains to reduce harassment and tackle safety concerns.
Consult with the advertising industry, academia, think-tanks and NGOs on the best ways to reduce sexist advertisements in public spaces.
Involve women, including BAME women and disabled women, on all major decision-making bodies for the transport network.
Work with the government to establish local traffic and highway powers and explore ways in which the Mayor can implement Clean Air Zones in the CIty Region.
The housing crisis across our City Region grows deeper every day. Changes to the benefits and tax credit system were supposed to make things fairer. But many households in our region have been negatively affected by changes to local housing allowances, housing benefits, child benefits and the bedroom tax.
Disabled people, single parents and families, particularly ethnic minority families, are being driven out of their homes, often with no place to go. Women are hit particularly hard as they are more likely to receive benefits, more likely to have caring responsibilities and less likely to have access to well paid jobs. And some of them are stuck in abusive relationships because they cannot afford to flee.
There is no silver bullet for a housing crisis on this scale and we need to work together, across party lines to design and implement a sustainable housing strategy.
Let’s put people at the heart of design – let’s build homes, not just houses.
Use the devolved strategic housing and planning powers to build a comprehensive solution to the housing crisis, understanding that the problem is too big for old-fashioned party politics.
Develop a new design standard that puts people at the heart and increase the role of architects and users in planning solutions to create better environments for everybody.
Ensure councils ring-fence housing for women fleeing violence – including a sufficient supply of accessible refuge spaces.
Make use of Section 106 in planning applications to provide services to local communities, including childcare facilities and refuges.
Use compulsory purchase powers to increase the stock of affordable housing, including smaller housing, to ensure residents are not punished by benefit cuts.
Make sure that housing development is balanced across the region so that all areas benefit from growth.
Provide affordable childcare so that market-based solutions to housing do not price out women.
Lobby the government to fund supported housing properly, making sure all of us can live independent lives.