IWD 2018: Centenary Action Group calls for the Government to remove barriers to women's representation in Parliament

London, UK, 8 March 2018:

Dear Madams/Sirs,

The Suffragettes were force-fed, beaten and imprisoned for calling for the right to vote. 100 years on a global study of women MPs found that 82% experienced psychological violence. Among them, 44% said they had received threats of death, rape, beatings or abduction during their parliamentary terms, including threats to kidnap or kill their children. Given these shocking levels of violence and abuse on and off-line and the disproportionate targeting and impact on poor, black and minority ethnic women, it is no surprise that women’s political participation remains so low. This International Women's Day, our new campaigning coalition of 30+ organisations calls on the UK government to urgently remove the barriers to representation at home and abroad, starting with implementing in full the Women and Equalities Committee recommendations on women in the house of commons – all of which have been previously dismissed. Those that are currently most affected by violence, abuse and harassment need to be front and centre of efforts to address it. Their voices must be raised and their stories heard. It is time for a new generation of women leaders.

Centenary Action Group

Akeela Ahmed, Equalities Campaigner, Women’s March London
Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader of the Green Party
Barbara Dixon, Programme Director, Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland
Baroness Anne Jenkin, Co-founder & Co-chair of Women2Win
Bee Rowlatt, Chair, Mary on the Green
Brita Fernandez Schmidt, Executive Director, Women for Women International UK
Caroline Haworth, CEO, Womankind Worldwide
Catherine Mayer, Co-Founder, Women’s Equality Party
Darren Hughes, CEO, Electoral Reform Society
Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, Director, UK Women’s Budget Group
Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, Lawyer and Women's Rights Activist, Women in Leadership Publication  
Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE, Entrepreneur & Business Leader
Faeeza Vaid, Executive Director, Muslim Women’s Network UK
Frances Scott, Founder of 50:50 Parliament
Girish Menon, CEO, Action Aid UK
Hannah Bond and Zarina Khan, Directors, Gender Action for Peace and Security
Harriet Harman MP, Mother of the House
Helen Pankhurst, Women’s Rights Activist and Great Granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst
Helene Reardon Bond OBE, Women’s Rights Campaigner and former Head of Gender and Equality GEO
Jess Phillips MP, Chair of Women’s Parliamentary Labour Party
Jo Swinson MP, Deputy Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Liberal Democrats
Julie Siddiqi and Laura Marks OBE, Co-founders of Nisa-Nashim Jewish and Muslim Women’s Network
Kate Allen, CEO, Amnesty International UK
Katie Ghose, CEO, Women’s Aid
Kelley Temple, Advocacy Manager, Girlguiding
Laurie Lee, CEO CARE International UK
Lynne Stubbings, Chair, National Federation of Women’s Institutes
Mandy Sanghera, International Human Rights Activist 
Natasha Walter, Founder and Director, Women for Refugee Women
Nikki Van Der Gaag, Director of Gender Justice and Women’s Rights, Oxfam GB
Nimco Ali, Founder of Daughters of Eve
Professor Sarah Childs, University of London & author of The Good Parliament Guide
Sam Smethers, CEO Fawcett Society
Shaista Gohir OBE, Chair, Muslim Women’s Network UK
Shannon O'Connell, Westminster Foundation for Democracy
Seyi Akiwowo, Founder, Glitch!UK
Vanessa Vallely, Founder and Director, WeAreTheCity

Media contact:

Emily Wight, Senior Press Officer (Programmes and Policy), +442070916063, wight@careinternational.org 

Ruby Wright, Press and PR Manager: +442080916047, wright@careinternational.org 

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