Last week UKIP unveiled its policies for women, including the flagship pledge to scrap the so-called Tampon Tax. I have written many times before about UKIP’s appalling record on gender equality, including outrageous comments made by Nigel Farage.
In the UK, families are rightly frustrated with a system which has failed to keep up with the realities of modern life. This is why Labour has proposed a number of policies aimed at helping working families to balance their responsibilities. For example, we have pledged to double paid paternity leave and extend free childcare to 25 hours per week.
A report by Gingerbread, the advice and support charity for single parents, has found that almost half of single parents (47%) have been forced to borrow money from family, friends or the bank in order to cover their child care costs within the last two years.
International Women’s Day is an opportunity for us to come together to raise our collective voices and celebrate our achievements. Over the past century, the women’s movement has been responsible for transformative shifts in society.
The spectre of the UK leaving the EU is, unfortunately, rearing its ugly head again. In a question and answer session recently, Ed Miliband drew attention to the many benefits Britain gained by its membership of the world’s largest trading bloc.
You know it’s serious when the EU Commission President contemplates a British exit from the EU. Jean-Claude Juncker did exactly this when he suggested, in a speech to French delegates last weekend, that if the conditions aren’t right then it is time for Britain to consider a “divorce.
The Bank of England opened its doors yesterday to 120 young women between the ages of 14-17 yesterday in an effort to inspire and encourage girls to consider a career in the financial sector.
Denis Mukwege, an amazing doctor who campaigns against rape and sexual violence addressed the European Parliament yesterday.
Tears came to many of our eyes as Dr Mukwege told us what he had witnessed and as we heard about his incredible commitment to the women and girls in his native Democratic Republic of Congo.
There are those who believe the EU is a legislative behemoth, producing vast reams of paper designed to swamp business. Certainly UKIP and their political allies love to make capital out of it, trotting out the statistic that 75% of laws applicable in the UK come from Brussels. The reality, as ever, is not quite so simple.
Good news from the prestigious Cranfield School of Management. Its latest research found the percentage of women on boards has now reached 22.8% – close to the 25% target set by Lord Davies for 2015.
The report said that great progress has been made since the publication of Lord Davies’ report.
“Calm down Dear”- the now infamous quote David Cameron snarled at Angela Eagle back in 2011, and which was done in patronising tones. And today Lord Hill, Britain’s EU Commissioner, called for ‘calm’ following Cameron’s hysterical response to finding out the UK owed £1.7bn to the EU.
Nigel Farage has struck a deal with a far right MEP in order to save his political group the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) in the European Parliament.
Female politicians are portrayed more negatively than male colleagues, recent research has found.
I find it deeply concerning and rather astonishing that the media still present women so negatively and do so with little consideration of the consequences .
Vince Cable quietly launched what he called an ‘enhanced’code of conduct for executive search firms to support the appointment of more women on boards recently. It is targeted at the FTSE 350 and recognises those firms who have been most successful in the recruitment of women to the FTSE 350 boards.
Over the course of the last mandate I, along with my fellow Labour MEPs, witnessed how UKIP MEPs consistently abstained from almost all votes in the European Parliament. It defended its stance by arguing that participation in the parliamentary system would indicate it endorsed the very institution it so vehemently argues is an unnecessary bureaucracy.
Interesting news as we gather for the start of the new European Parliament mandate. The Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group, of which UKIP are the biggest party, could be finished.
Recently, the results came out from Switzerland’s referendum on migration, revealing narrow backing for plans to impose a cap on migrants. The ‘Federal Popular Initiative Against Mass Immigration’, which was passed by 50.3% to 49.7%, represents the effective rejection of freedom of movement pacts negotiated between Switzerland and the EU.
Female executives are ambitious and sure of their own abilities to become top managers, but they are much less confident that their companies’ cultures can support their rise.
This is the main conclusion of the latest McKinsey Global Survey of male and female executives.
Theresa May is being asked to stop the leader of the Hungarian extreme right-wing political party, Jobbik, from entering the UK this weekend.
Gábor Vona is coming to Holborn on Sunday to speak at a rally that he says is for the Hungarian community living in London, in advance of this year’s European elections.
It was announced earlier this month that Burberry Chief Executive Angela Ahrendts would be leaving the company. Ahrendts’ move to Apple reduces the number of women heading up FTSE 100 companies to just two – Imperial Tobacco’s Alison Cooper and easyJet’s Carolyn McCall.
The Labour Party Women’s Conference held on Saturday was probably the best attended that I have seen in over thirty years. With over 1,000 women it was well-informed and lively. It was really heart-warming to see so many Labour women coming together, and goes to show that feminism is alive and well.
First it was feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez facing appalling abuse on Twitter. Her dreadful experiences were later followed by a 13 per cent drop in police domestic violence referrals to the Crown Prosecution Service. Although these two matters are separate, both sadly reflect the attitudes to women prevalent in this country.
The Bank of England has appointed Charlotte Hogg as its new chief operating officer. She is effectively to become the Bank’s number two to new governor Mark Carney and will take responsibility for the day-to-day running of the Bank overseeing everything from human resources to the Banks technology and operating systems.
Despite its many positive advantages, unfortunately the internet has opened an all too accessible front for child abuse. All of us are only too aware that criminals and paedophiles are able to use websites around the world to distribute and share child abuse content.
In their quest to find employment more women than men now work in Britain than ever before. This is how The Times reported news from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) that women are returning to the workplace in their droves.
First it was Tory Grandee and former Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe. He was closely followed by leading business figures including Richard Branson and Martin Sorrell. The voice of reason on the European Union is at last being heard, emerging from the muffled clouds where it has hidden for so long while the sceptics gained ground.
There is a wise adage in politics that leaders, representatives and their parties should listen and respond to the questions the people, their electorate, are asking rather than matters which endlessly fascinate professional politicos but leave virtually everybody else (99.999 per cent of the population) cold.
France and Germany have refused to participate in Prime Minister David Cameron’s much-vaunted examination of whether some EU powers should be returned to member states.
Reported in the Financial Times on 2 April, this extremely significant development has unfortunately received little attention in the British media.
In February I wrote about how women are penalised with smaller pension pots because of the disparity in pay they earn throughout their working lives. This was backed up by research from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which stated women earn less, meaning that they are able to contribute less to a pension pot.
What effect has the European Union had on women and gender equality? As ever this is a complex issue, and there is much to say.
There have been some huge achievements, significant advancements and successful attempts to address gender inequality. But still today we have not got there.
Women who work full-time in their 50’s earn 20% less than men, research by the Trades Union Congress revealed yesterday.
Their research, which was based on figures from the Office of National Statistics, found that the disparity in pay corresponds to smaller pensions. The worst hit by the gender pay gap are women aged between 50-59.
Earlier this week Rupert Murdoch’s gave the most significant indication that he might replace the Sun’s Page Three with a half-way house of ‘glamorous fashionistas’.
Murdoch was responding on twitter to a tweet which said Page Three is so last century. Murdoch replied: “You may be right, don’t know but considering”.
As a member of the European Parliament’s Gender Equality and Women’s Rights Committee I have worked for a number of years to increase women’s participation in decision-making.