I was delighted to be able to speak in the parliamentary debate to support International Women’s Day this week. A lot has changed in the last few decades, but it is still the case that we need more women taking the lead in business, politics, sport and other areas traditionally dominated by men such as science and engineering.
International Women’s Day takes place on March 8th each year and is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
I am one of 191 female MPs in parliament, which is less than 30% of all MPs. In October 2014 I became the 370th woman to ever be elected as an MP – that means that there had been fewer female MPs in the entire history of our parliament than the number of men who were elected in 2015 alone. That cannot be right, and it shows that a huge amount of work is still needed to make sure women are properly represented.
International Women’s Day is also a good time to ask the government yet again to introduce fair transitional arrangements for the 2.6 million women – including almost 5000 women in Heywood and Middleton – affected by the changes to state pensions. The Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign have done great work highlighting the issue, but the government have so far refused to listen.
The fight goes on.