Steph's Place

28th April - Women Underrepresented - a Feminist Rant

By Steph

Over 50% of the UK's population is women, but looking at the makeup of the government, it is hard to believe that is a fact.

Too often, women are underrepresented.

Just eight of the thirty-one Tory MP's who attend Boris Johnson's cabinet are women; this reduces to six having ministerial posts. Fortunately, the Labour Party where I am a member has a much better gender balance. There are currently 198 Labour MPs, and the positive news is that 103 are women.

A similar pattern exists within our local government in my own city. There are forty-two Portsmouth Councillors - just twelve are women - yep just 28%. 

Three of our seven Labour city councillors are women.

Put simply women are oppressed in so many areas of society and suffer ongoing discrimination day by day, week by week, month by month.

Women should have the right to equal pay when doing the same work as men.

The right to walk our streets at night without fear.

The right to say no.

Many people will not have heard of 'The Istanbul Convention'. It is an initiative from the Council of Europe aiming to prevent and combat violence and domestic abuse against women. It includes clauses to educate children that violence against women and girls (VAWG) is unacceptable in modern society. The Convention also enhances victim protection and end the impunity of perpetrators.

 In total, 45 European countries have signed the Convention, with many ratifying it in their parliaments within two or three years. Countries like Malta, Montenegro and Moldova. The UK signed the Convention on the 8th of June 2012. Still, nearly ten years later, the UK has not ratified the Convention meaning VAWG, and domestic violence continues at horrific levels.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) say that 1.6 million women in England and Wales suffered domestic abuse in the year ending March 2020.

We also know that since covid struck, that figure has rocketed.

Cuts in women's services, including the funding of refuges'  have constantly been cut year on year because of Tory austerity measures. Prices are rising at unprecedented rates leaving many families struggling.

Foodbanks have been set up across our city - something unimaginable ten years ago. And more to the point women are going hungry, so to feed their kids. 

This is Tory's "progress" in 2022 and the simple truth is that in Tory Britain - women don't count.


Authored by Steph

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