The Women’s Equality Party (WE) have come out in support of Jeremy Corbyn’s 10-point plan for Britain.
The plan includes a strategy to end the pay gap and protect women from violence and abuse.
In his vision for Britain he stated that change must begin in schools and at home, with girls having the same education choices as boy and fathers spending more time at home with their children.
He also called for women to be empowered in their day-to-day lives, not just in boardrooms and Parliament.
WE Party Leader Sophie Walker, said: “WE said it would change British politics for women everywhere. Today we have seen how powerful an idea that is, with our policies on ending the gender pay gap, investing in affordable childcare and tackling violence against women and girls being adopted by Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn.”
“It is about time that the Labour leadership showed its commitment to equality for all, including women, by setting out concrete plans for change. Last week, we challenged both Corbyn and his leadership opponent Owen Smith to commit to introducing affordable childcare for all parents. We are delighted that Corbyn has accepted our challenge, and included the extension of free hours towards universal childcare in his speech. Now we want to see a costed plan for making affordable childcare a reality, rather than just a manifesto promise.”
The WE has called for affordable childcare for all children from the end of parental leave at nine months until school age. The plan suggests the first 15 hours a week will be paid for by the Government, funded by the introduction of a single rate of pension tax relief. Any remaining childcare requirements would be payable at £1 an hour by parents.
Walker added: “We are looking forward to seeing much more detail behind the top line promises set out today by Jeremy Corbyn. For example, there are important questions around how he will guarantee market rates for providers and capital investment for premises.
“A commitment to gender equality should underpin the work of the Labour Party, and if Corbyn is serious about making it a priority he must now show exactly how he will take his plans forward.”
“We are pleased that Jeremy Corbyn has committed to two of the goals we set the new Prime Minister: introducing compulsory SRE in schools, and establishing new funding arrangements to ensure domestic violence refuges are properly supported as well as ensuring the criminal justice system treats women with sensitivity and respect,” said Walker. “We are also encouraged by his promise of introducing mandatory pay audits as a move towards ending the gender pay gap.”
However, Walker cautioned Corbyn’s commitments and claimed the promise of a ’criminal justice system that treats women with sensitivity and respect’ is too vague: “We want specific guarantees, for example that survivors of domestic violence will not have to face their abuser in court, as well as timelines for implementing these changes.”
“Corbyn’s five commitments are a win for our Party – we said we would push women’s equality higher up the political agenda by threatening the votes of mainstream parties, and in this we have succeeded. Now it is up to Jeremy Corbyn, and Owen Smith, to show that they can take the Labour Party forward on gender equality by delivering on these promises.”
WE also announced today that is was please to hear that gender equality was discussed at the Labour leadership debate, in Cardiff, last night but that more detailed plans are required.
During the debate Own Smith said he would ‘champion women’ and would introduce all-women shortlists until there was equal representation in Parliament.
He also promised to appoint women to at least half of the seats in his shadow cabinet.
Commenting on the debate, Walker said: “Both candidates certainly said all the right things about tackling gender inequality in the UK. But we are yet to hear any of the detail of their plans to close the pay gap, protect funding for services that protect women and girls from violence, and end gender discrimination.”
“We said yesterday that we were delighted Jeremy Corbyn had accepted our childcare challenge to make childcare affordable for all, but we want to hear fully costed plans from both him and Smith on how they’d take this critical issue forward.”
“If the Labour leadership contenders are serious about championing feminism, they must set out detailed plans to substantiate the promises made in the hustings. We wait with interest to see if this follows at the further hustings planned as part of their leadership battle.”