Saturday 8th March is International Womens Day. This day marks the achievements of women globally. Three of Oxford Green Party’s leading female campaigners reflect on the progress of women and what still needs to be done:
Councillor Elise Benjamin (Iffley Fields):
"I'm proud to represent a political party with a record of strong women leaders in Caroline Lucas and now Natalie Bennett. In the last general election only 143 women were elected out of 650 MPs whichis shameful when there are more women than men in the UK. It's time political parties did more to encourage and empower women to stand for election."
Ruthi Brandt (Green Party candidate, Carfax):
"Caroline Lucas, the Green Party's single, woman, MP stood up for a balanced portrayal of women in mainstream media, when she championed the No More Page 3 campaign in Parliament, the very heart of the old-boys establishment. We need more women, and men, in all levels of government, willing to challenge the current, damaging status-quo, whereby women are so often judged first and foremost by their looks."
Dr Hazel Dawe (Green Party candidate, St Clements):
“The protection of women in law has grown steadily in the UK. But the 1 million public sector job losses this Government is implementing, are disproportionately the jobs of women. Although formal legal protection has increased, actual discrimination in the workplace in both recruitment and promotion continues. Legal protection of womens’ rights is essential, but their contribution to public services must be valued and protected as well. Women have been enabled to work and juggle work and family lives by maternity leave, and by good employers who permit flexible working hours. But the safety of women is marred by large increases in domestic violence and rape with cuts in services supporting women, when most other forms of crime are decreasing.”