Dear UK Editor of IBTimes,
I was very disappointed to read the wholly negative article on the policy launch of WEP yesterday (20.10.15) written by Abi Wilkinson.
As a working class, benefit claiming, survivor of domestic and sexual abuse, single mother; I can safely say that yesterday was a momentous day for me and many women across the UK. To dismiss the WE party is to dismiss my voice and I have waited a long time to be given a voice! I finally feel listened to and taken seriously. No other political party can claim to listen to their members and allow them to influence policy as WE does. WE trusts us.
I regard ALL women as my sisters, call me naïve and idealist if you like, whatever background they happen to be born into or life they happen to find themselves in. WE is there for women who do not earn high wages by tackling the gender pay gap, parental leave and access for all to work place tribunals. WE recognises the importance of carers and the unwaged. WE will be examining the various guises of carers to see where inequalities lie. Polices will grow and adapt as WE does.
As for parliament, surely no one can think that having more women MPs will not result in change for women? And change for the better! A 50:50 parliament is a must. WE may well be non-partisan but that will not prevent the party from seeking election. I am more than confident that WE will choose women from all walks of life to run for parliament or council seats (and support them to do so). A change is the air, women have had enough of being ignored, being told to go away! The article you published simply plays into the hands of the male, political elite who wish to dismiss WE as ‘yet another pressure group that will do nothing’. WE are going nowhere!
To adopt the Nordic approach to sex work is incredibly brave. It was always going to create controversy. WE states that it wishes to end demand for the sale of sex but also seeks to protect women who do so. Women will not be prosecuted for selling sex, couple this with the key objective to end violence against women and it strikes me as very progressive move. These women do matter to WE, their safety is as important as any other woman’s. Please read the policy document (esp. page 33) as I cannot hope to convey all the points made in a letter.
I would like to invite Abi Wilkinson to attend local branch meetings and meet the people who are on the ground, fighting for women’s equality. Talk to us, engage with us rather than dismiss us.
WE Swindon Branch Secretary.