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We must look beyond International Women’s Day to the need for real change

08 March, 2018

• THE news agenda has taken a turn. The TimesUp and the MeToo campaigns have captured the imagination and become a call to action. Enough is enough, say the activists.

We are not putting up with it any more, thing’s have got to change. Today, March 8, we celebrate International Women’s Day, marking women’s achievements throughout history and across nations.

But while we celebrate the achievements of these amazing women we must also acknowledge that you are far more likely to be hungry or poor if you are a woman; and that a population greater than that of Russia will have undergone female genital mutilation – 200 million women and girls across the world.

Violence against women isn’t a phenomenon far from our shores. In England and Wales alone, two women die every day at the hands of a partner or former partner and, on average, the police take 100 calls an hour on domestic abuse.

Although almost 9,000 FGM cases were reported to the NHS between 2015 and 2016 only two prosecutions have resulted in zero convictions.

The activists are right – things must change. Not just on equal pay and equal representation, or the ability to work without fear of harassment, or worse.

They must change so women across the world have the same life chances as men. After all “feminism is the radical notion that women are people”. It’s not too much to expect is it?

Labour candidate for Belsize ward


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