The Women’s Equality Party (WE) has called for Theresa May to use her first 100 days, as prime minister, to make six key changes for women’s rights.
The party has revealed six areas as part of the ‘100 days of May campaign’, which are as follows:
- Stop women paying the price for abuse
- Introduce compulsory sex and relationships education
- End detention of women seeking asylum
- Invest in childcare
- Ratify the Istanbul Convention
- Commit to equal representation in parliament
The Party’s Leader, Sophie Walker, told the Guardian that having a female Prime Minister would not automatically end the struggle for women standing across all political parties.
She said: “The Tory leadership contest between Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom was an almost exact re-run of the way Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall were pitted against each other, on the basis of who has child
ren and who doesn’t. This gaming of women has got to stop.”
Walker said she sees May’s rise to the top as a way to increase the numbers of women in politics: “There is such an opportunity here, with all the talk of a new prime minister, who has a real understanding of women’s experiences in Britain, who has real experience working with women to bring them up the ranks of the Conservative party.”
“A 50/50 parliament would be a huge shift in how we create laws in this country to reflect it. It could be done within two elections if 66% of new MPs and 75% of new peers were women. And then it is done.”
In her previous role as Home Secretary May was praised for passing a law against coercive control in relationships. She held a nationwide inquiry by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary into the treatment of domestic violence victims by police.
WE has also called for the government to commit funding to services for female victims of sexual assault or abuse. Last year the government announced a £3.2m fund to boost women’s services, but Walker said it needs to be reviewed by the Home Office.
The subject of of migrant women and their treatment whilst at Immigration detention centre Yarl’s Wood is also being questioned by Walker. WE is calling to end the detention od pregnant women and has said that an inquiry into allegations of abuse at the centre needs to take place.
WE’s call for universal childcare would mean 15 hours free a week after the end of statutory parental leave and £1 an hour thereafter. The government’s current proposal is to increase state support for three and four-year-olds from 2017.
Furthermore, WE would like to introduce compulsory sex and relationships education in schools, a move that was previously blocked by government.