One voice might get lost in the ether. Together, WE can create a rallying cry.
WE’ve come a long way since WE started in 2015. Yet our work has never been more important, here’s why...
Women make up 51% of the UK population. But only 35% of MPs, 34% of judges and 39% of board directors
These are some of the most powerful people in our society. And women’s voices aren’t getting heard. Decisions are made, policies are passed and judgements are granted, without women having a valued place in the process.
Women still occupy the lowest-paid jobs. Three-quarters of the people who’ve worked minimum wage jobs in the last 10 years are women. Working women earn 15.4% less than men. And at the current rate of change, it’ll be 70 years before that gender pay gap closes.
Meanwhile, at home, women are taking on unpaid roles. Parenting and caregiving typically fall to female partners, whilst childcare costs remove the option for many women to return to work. And men are denied the opportunity to enjoy time with their children, due to limited parental leave.
While the media marginalise women, we remain marginalised
Our children are held back by the limits imposed upon them by gender stereotypes. An experience that’s amplified by the misrepresentation of women in adverts and the media. Women are treated as sex objects and helpless victims, rather then individuals with ambitions, ideas and power.
The media continues to treat women as a listless species. Stories of sexual violence sit alongside diet tips, journalists who become mothers are scarcely retained, and Twitter trolls go after the female voices working to shake up the status quo.
That tale continues with the harsh realities of violence against women and girls. Around 1.2 million women suffer domestic abuse each year in the UK. And everyday there are 250 rapes or attempted rates. Yet, conviction rates are heartbreakingly low.
From statistics to stories, this is the reality of life as a woman in 21st century Britain:
It’s time to write some new headlines
There isn’t a country in the world where women are equal. Yet.
Together, WE can make the UK the first. WE can prove that it is possible. WE can build a future that is better for everyone.
It’s time to lead the way.
This is where equality begins
It starts in our schools, universities and classrooms. From the subjects they take to the values and attitudes young people develop, our educational institutions hold the key to a more equal future.
This is how we prepare women and girls for more diverse roles, challenge gender stereotypes and reduce violent crime rates.
Yes, we still need the authorities to support victims of violence in rebuilding their lives, report crimes and make sure perpetrators are brought to justice. But education can help ensure that sexual violence doesn’t happen in the first place.
This is what equality could do
By unleashing women’s full potential, WE could add 10% (or over £180 billion) to our GDP by the end of 2030 if all the women that wanted to work were able to do so. That’s £2,850 for each member of the UK population.
Closing the gender pay gap would provide an additional boost to revenue from income tax and national insurance, reducing tax credit payments whilst increasing female spending power.
In individual terms, equality gives women a choice. It enables them to build lives that are shaped by their hopes, dreams and aspirations, rather than what society determines is possible.
This is who needs to be a part of it
WE are working for a future where there is a diverse House of Commons, where every group in society is represented and where people of all genders, backgrounds and ethnicities play a role in decision making.
When we call for diversity in the Government, we’re calling for true diversity. Not performative diversity, used as a shroud an agenda that benefits society’s most powerful. True diversity takes into consideration the nuances of crises and their gendered impact on all members of society.
True diversity would restore the public faith in Parliament that is so crucial to the future of our democracy.
There’s only one way to make equality happen. Together.
WE need to organise ourselves, through campaigns, protests and activism. WE need to show up, across the country, and call attention to what’s unjust. WE need to do the opposite of what they want us to do.
With our policies, WE could build a future where women’s voices are elevated and not ignored.
WE could ensure that every woman fleeing abuse was safe and got justice.
WE could ensure that every working woman had access to childcare. WE could ensure that dads no longer felt stigmatised for looking after their children. And WE could ensure that every child grows up thinking gender equality is normal.
WE could remove the barriers to their future.