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  • Boris ignores women’s issues

    by Sunny
    28th April, 2008 at 11:53 pm    

    Press release sent to me

    Results from the latest polls indicate that women’s votes are still up for grabs the race for London’s mayor. Fifty four per cent of women surveyed in a recent Ipsos MORI poll are certain to vote in the London Mayoral and London Assembly elections on May 1st.

    However, only 61% of these women have decided their first choice for Mayor. Over a third of women said they are likely to change their mind on who they will vote for, indicating there is a mass of women’s votes yet to be secured by any candidate ahead of the elections.

    Are candidates responding to women’s key issues?

    Fawcett today releases its interviews with the key mayoral candidates on their campaign priorities to find out how they plan to respond to women’s concerns. Candidates were asked how they will address women’s rights and promote equality between men and women and specifically how they would make a difference to ethnic minority women.

    The response from Ken Livingstone, Labour Party promises work on economic equality and fair pay for women, including a new Women’s Equality at Work Index that will rate London’s businesses. He also reaffirmed his commitment to creating a safe city for London’s women, making transport more accessible, extending affordable childcare across London and to lobbying government for equal pay audits and tougher measures on discrimination.

    Liberal Democrat Party candidate Brian Paddick stated his commitment to promoting the position of ethnic minority women by setting up an office to promote women’s participation in politics. He also promises to consult fully with women to ensure he is addressing their concerns; this includes lobbying the London Development Agency to work with grassroots women’s organisations and ensuring that women’s voluntary groups are fully resourced and supported.

    Sian Berry, Green Party candidate reaffirmed an earlier pledge to actively tackle the pay gap by ensuring that the GLA and all private companies that are employed by the public sector carry out gender pay audits. She also confirmed a commitment to address the poverty facing many women by ensuring lower paid workers are paid the London living wage.

    Conservative Party candidate, Boris Johnson, has yet to respond to the invitation to participate.

    Political exclusion of ethnic minority women

    Today the Fawcett Society launches a new campaign, femocracy, to tackle the political disengagement of ethnic minority women. Ninety years on since women in the UK first won the vote, ethnic minority women remain one of the most excluded groups from formal political and decision making processes.

    Fawcett’s new campaign will work with over 1500 ethnic minority women through a series of nation-wide events aimed at building women’s confidence to participate in politics and encouraging them to vote.

                  Post to

    Filed in: Culture,Race politics,Sex equality

    10 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. MaidMarian — on 29th April, 2008 at 12:09 am  

      ‘ethnic minority women remain one of the most excluded groups from formal political and decision making processes.’ Interestingly, the link does not really say excluded by whom, this all seems a bit abstract to say the least.

      As the Americans very wisely say, decisions are made by those who show up.

    2. Leon — on 29th April, 2008 at 12:37 am  

      By those who show up but also by those allowed to be heard…

    3. vigorniensis — on 29th April, 2008 at 7:50 am  

      Bit ironic expecting muslim women to have the freedom to express anything other than delivery of their husband’s next meal or child!

    4. Rumbold — on 29th April, 2008 at 11:17 am  

      Just a technical point; has Boris actually ignored women’s issues, or has he just not responded to the Fawcett Society’s request for an interview? Do the Fawcett society speak for all women?

    5. marvin — on 29th April, 2008 at 12:48 pm

      Mayor Ken Livingstone was accused of neglect by London’s last remaining rape crisis centre as he launched his women’s manifesto yesterday.

      The Labour candidate had offered no funding, had never contacted them and watched as two rape crisis offices closed through lack of financial support, said Yvonne Traynor of the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre.

    6. marvin — on 29th April, 2008 at 12:49 pm  

      “He pledged to make the transport system safer for women, fight for better pay and tackle the growth of the sex inddustry and trafficking.”

      Doesnt sound like ignoring womens issues to me.

    7. zohra — on 30th April, 2008 at 10:53 am  

      Rumbold @4, Fawcett hasn’t said that Boris Johnson is ignoring women’s issues.

      The original press release titles read:

      Fawcett launches femocracy (27/4/08)

      Women’s votes for the upcoming May elections are still up for grabs

      New campaign launched to boost ethnic minority women’s voting

    8. Rumbold — on 30th April, 2008 at 10:58 am  


      I presumed that the title of this post was the same as the title of the press release.

    9. sonia — on 30th April, 2008 at 11:58 am  

      some more sensational media style headlines i guess: technically - from reading the information in the above post - boris has not yet responded to Fawcett’s invitation to participate. does this mean boris is in general ignoring women’s issues? it might do, it might not.

      Anyhow i think a key point which gets overlooked or just shoved into a ‘women’s category’ is family friendliness - yes it affects both parents - either male or female. and you’d think given all this talk of families and the future society would make it easier for people to have families. Childcare is a big issue - and mothers trying to have a work/life balance. This is NOT JUST a women’s issue. This compartmentalisation of interest group is of no interest to anyone - and goes against the grain of having a holistic approach ot sustainable communities.

      Dor example, what scandinavian countries offer women and therefore families, is simply unbeatable.

      If you would believe the Tories, you’d think they would have worked this one out. But i suppose the idea of being family friend in tory land perhaps means that they think a woman’s just got to find herself a rich man?

    10. sonia — on 30th April, 2008 at 12:13 pm  

      Basically, if society wants to offer women opportunities, and freedom, it has to take the fact of having children, and the support that involves, seriously. Otherwise, women are prey to the kind of structures we have historically, no socio-economic choices apart from through having to be in a sexual relationship with Paymaster.

      Currently, freedom for a woman only really happens if you are not a mother. If you are a Mother, suddenly a lot of choices are not available, or are very dependent on who you are, what support network you have available, and that support network is very inequal - not everyone has a fair access to that. So therefore it is provision of the support network that is crucial.
      And this applies to all women, regardless of whether you live on a council estate, are an ethnic minority or not. if you work in the third sector for example, which interestingly is very female dominated - they aren’t hugely well-paid jobs, and they don’t seem to have enough money for good maternity policies etc. so there is a lot of room for improvement. Of course its the usual if you’re in a job not for the money, people think they can walk all over you even if you’re contributing a lot to society, and that you should just - again - find a rich husband to sort yourself out. So young men too - are affected by all this. Work it out how.

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