There are numerous organisations that work towards greater societal change to help women. Whether this is through increasing female representation in the UK parliament, working towards changing the government’s approach to motherhood or changing the very legislation that has ripped women off their pensions across the UK, these organisations are taking direct steps to make sure women’s voices can be heard.
These organisations work tirelessly behind the scenes to drive change for women all over the UK, they are organisations all women should know about, which is why we are
Shining a spotlight on them and their work and calling on our community to support their aims.
You can contribute to the collective mission of amplifying women’s voices and rights through any of these organisations, just get in touch to see what opportunities there are for you to get involved.
The Women’s Equality Party
The Women’s Equality Party (WEP) is a feminist political party set up in 2015 by Sandi Toksvig and Catherine Mayer although it is currently led by Mandu Reid. The WEP is an innovative and inclusive political party, which acknowledges that when women are given access to their full potential, everyone benefits. With thousands of members across the UK, the WEP is by no means a small movement. Their 7 core objectives are all rooted in the overall goal of achieving equality, in healthcare, representation, pay, parenting, education and media treatment as well as pursuing policy initiatives to end violence against women.
If you find yourself wanting to know more, or directly wanting to get involved with the WEP, their annual party conference takes place from 04/11/2023- 05/11/2023 as a hybrid event, online and in person in Sheffield. Both non-members and members can buy tickets, however, membership for the WEP is open to all. With core, concessionary and affiliate membership offers ranging starting from £3.50 a month, the WEP emphasise their nonpartisan work and seeks to include everyone who shares its aims.
Pregnant then Screwed
‘Pregnant then Screwed’ was found in 2015 by Joeli Brearly in 2015 on International Women’s Day, following being sacked from her job by voicemail just two days after informing her employer that she was pregnant with her first child. Joeli soon learned that her experience was unfortunately not unique, and initially set up Pregnant then Screwed as a safe space for mothers to share their stories. However, the project rapidly grew and soon developed into a charity which is dedicated to ending the motherhood penalty, whilst supporting tens of thousands of women each year. Pregnant then screwed believes that women should not be judged for their decision to have children and that such decisions should not be to the detriment of their skills and talent. They also champion the importance of stay-at-home parents, whilst also challenging the accessibility of childcare, and emphasise equal contributions in household responsibilities. This is a charity which not only seeks to validate and support the 54,000 women a year who lose their jobs, simply because they got pregnant, but also directly calls out and challenges discrimination.
Pregnant then Screwed seek to challenge maternity discrimination by initiating legislative change to foster greater parity between men and women, both in the home and the workplace. It is estimated that under 1% of victims of maternity discrimination take legal action, and this is largely due to the limited access to justice afforded to pregnant women and new mums. To combat this, Pregnant then Screwed provides pregnant women and mothers with access to free legal advice and supports them through taking legal action against discriminatory employers. Through their social media presence, government consultations and employer training, Pregnant then Screwed is already changing the UK’s approach to maternity rights. However, they are by no means finished in achieving their goals and are always open to donations or fundraisers.
50/50 Parliament is an inclusive, intersectional campaign which is taking action to build a better democracy by inspiring, encouraging and supporting women with their ‘AskHerToStand’ and ‘SignUpToStand’ programmes. Most elected bodies within the UK exist with a 2:1 ratio where men still outnumber women. 50/50 was founded in 2013 by Francis Scott, a passionate advocate for gender equality of representation. Even though it has been over 100 years since women have been able to stand in the UK for parliament, fewer than 600 women have been elected in comparison to the roughly 5,000 men. 50:50 has grown in stature since its creation as a petition in 2016, however, its goals remain the same. Since 2013, 50:50 Parliament has launched #AskHerToStand and #SignUpToStand campaigns, group events, peer-to-peer advice, buddy schemes and the ‘Become A Friend’ initiative. These initiatives, events, and campaigns have been funded through donations, and by the support of volunteers. Nearly 2,500 women have come to #SignUpToStand campaigns, which is a programme specifically designed to encourage, support and elevate women’s political potential and ambitions, regardless of party affiliation. At the 2019 General Election, 50 women who stood were part of the 50:50 #SignUpToStand campaign and nine went on to win seats at Westminster.
You can support 50:50 in numerous ways. Donations enable 50:50 to continue working across the political spectrum to support women in their journey to Westminster. If you find that you would directly benefit from the work of 50:50 Parliament, #SignUpToStand or if you know someone who is passionate about a cause, and would thrive in the political arena, then you can #AskHerToStand and point her in the direction of 50:50.
Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign (WASPI)
The WASPI, or Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign was founded in 2015 and continues to go from strength to strength. The 1995 Conservative Government’s State Pension Act included plans to increase the state pension age from 60 to 65 so that it was the same as men’s. Whilst WASPI inherently agrees with this equalisation, its campaign finds issues in the unfair way it was implemented. The 3.8 million eligible women born in the 1950s were hit incredibly hard as the government ignored recommendations to give fair notice, with many women reporting to have received little or no notice of the changes made in 1995. A large percentage of women were only notified within 1 year of their expected state pension age of 60, that this was no longer the case.
The WASPI ‘Ask’ is for the Government to agree to fair and fast compensation for all women affected by the lack of notice regarding the State Pension age increases (1995 and 2011 Pensions Acts) to reflect their financial losses, the sustained damage to their mental health and well-being, and the additional impacts. The Campaign has been going since 2015 and much has changed in that time. Most women affected have now reached their State Pension age. So, a bridging pension would not be relevant. For them, and in fact for all women a lump sum in compensation for the lack of notice received, commensurate with the degree of loss suffered, would be a more equable solution. WASPI has a great team consisting solely of volunteers, who provide resources to help bring the campaign forward. You can help further the WASPI campaign through donations but also through joining local WASPI groups or creating your own WAPSI group in your area if there is not one already. Joining WASPI costs just £25 a year and helps the fight for fair pension arrangements for women affected by changes to their State Pension age.