Steve Beasant

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Great Grimsby and Councillor for the East Marsh Learn more

100 years of women’s suffrage

by Steve Beasant on 6 February, 2018

100 years ago today the first women got the right to vote. This weekend, we spoke to five of our female MPs & Candidates about what this landmark means to them – and the work that’s still to be done.

The following article was written by Jo Swinson and published today on the Lib Dem Website.

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The fight for women’s suffrage was long and brutal, but those courageous women won a crucial battle.

As we all know – the fight for equality is far from over.

The gender-pay gap still exists; women still face daily abuse, harassment and sexual violence and gender stereotypes and assumptions still constrain and narrow the choices of many individuals.

We reject all prejudice and discrimination based upon race, colour, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation and oppose all forms of entrenched privilege and inequality
Constitution of the Liberal Democrats

Our own party still has a lot of work do to on diversity, in terms of gender equality and wider issues.

Just a third of our MPs are women, and our membership is disproportionately made up of white men. Lord Alderdice’s report on race equality in the party will be published soon, and it will be challenging for many of us.

Our party constitution calls on us to “reject all prejudice and discrimination based upon race, colour, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation and oppose all forms of entrenched privilege and inequality”. We should all seek to live those values every day.

In this hundredth year of women’s suffrage, we should redouble our efforts to build a party – and a country – that lives up to that challenge.

I hope you enjoy the video. Let’s celebrate this momentous occasion – and then take action.

Here are three things you can do to help redress the gender power imbalance in our party and our country:

  • Ask a liberal-minded woman you know to join the party. (They can join here: libdems.org.uk/join)
  • Encourage a Lib Dem woman member to stand for election or take on a new party role. Lib Dem Women & Campaign for Gender Balance can offer support (and you can join them and offer to help!)
  • Challenge gender inequality when you see it in everyday life – if you want tips on how to do so, check out Equal Power for ideas.

Together, our actions can make a difference.

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