Why You Should Vote This Election

The Women’s Equality Party has released their first advertisement, first policy document, and will be putting forward their first set of candidates for elections this May.

Their Policy states right from the start, “WE believe England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should not lag behind other countries but instead should take the lead and be the first countries in the world where all genders are equal.”

No other party chooses to tackle gender equalities at its forefront. The reason why WE is so vitally important for this generation and the next is that they understand that a lot of our issues stem from the very issue of inequality.

If you’re anything like me – or any of the youth that neglects to vote – you may to want to strip back all the politics. If we think about what we would really like in the world, realistically, it’s to get rid of the bullshit. No more stereotypes, no more judgement, no more unfair dismissals. And no more one rule for them (upper class) and one rule for us (working class).

The very term working class already carries around a stigma of not being good enough. Of carrying a lower status even though it really means majority of the population (not just in our country, but in the world). The very idea of having a political party to govern our views into parliament may seem extreme to us. We have to put our trust of what happens in our lives to ONE party. And whether you agree with politics or not history, our ancestors and ourselves have allowed it to be this way.

Parliament – we don’t get a choice – but our government, that we have a say in. And sometimes it isn’t always about voting it really is about actively showing your support so that ‘they’ can see who the people really want.

Unless you all want to go forth and have a revolution? Which I am totally game for by the way.

But until that day comes it seems ridiculous to me that we do not fully appreciate and support a party that will not corrupt themselves or us. That will honestly and wholeheartedly fight for the very human right of equality.

We do not remain equal in the hierarchy as it is. Why not put a party in power that can work to abolish the notion of inequality? Why not start at the very root of all social injustices?

For a party that created themselves through true passion and will seems a party worth supporting. A lot of parties and their members are there because of their families and connections. They were born into the roles as it were. WE noticed the issues that are facing women, and in turn how that spirals into inequality for all.

‘WE are the Women’s Equality Party, a new collaborative political force in UK politics uniting people of all genders, diverse ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, beliefs and experiences in the shared determination to see women enjoy the same rights and opportunities as men so that all can flourish.’

Once that field of gender equality is level we will have a strong and intelligent workforce. Both men and women can then work together to really empower ourselves and not let ‘them’ dictate what happens to all of us.

It is very important to note though what the party really wants from this election and those coming which is to win seats. I may seem to charge at and run with the idea of WE being the political party. But the party themselves ideally just aims to have a presence in parliament. You could view this as they believe they cannot be put into power, and with the current (and recent) history of our society that is probably a realistic goal. Just because I believe they should be our government (along with their fellow supporters) does not mean I believe they can at the moment. Because we have a real issue of ignorance and misdirection of what feminism and equality stands for.

But that is the power of the vote. Imagine WE gaining a seat and the differences they could bring.

They also admit that they don’t mind if other parties steal their policies because they just want them discussed.

Just to firstly gain a bit of perspective on what power the votes hold let’s look at a Party who is still marginalised for believing in a wider scope of issues;

In all of parliament the green party worked their way into parliament and currently hold only 1 seat. 1! You’ve heard of them though right? Out of 650 seats they hold 1. Do you even know the state of parliament? There are parties in there with more seats than you realise: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/current-state-of-the-parties/

But did you also notice there are 2 vacant seats? WE can fill them. There is a reason that there never seems to be decisions made that make sense to anyone. That those laws and decisions that are made often seem selfish and detrimental to help solving the current issues. To have a voice that can argue against them – if not just one voice – that is an achievement. The Green Party and UKIP hold 1 seat each with 1,157,613 votes last year they managed to keep their 1 seat.

And we all remember the shocking and disturbing news that UKIP gained 1 seat with 3,881,099 votes!

You can see how many votes are needed just to gain one seat. So when you say your one vote doesn’t matter you can clearly see you are wrong.

WE’s policies discusses strong and well thought-out process of having to target and tackle issues. To follow a short breakdown of what that will mean for women in politics and the party long term, I will be discussing them to a degree where we can clearly see how this will help everyone.

Policy one – Equal pay

‘Women earn just 52% of what men do every year because not only do they earn less, they are more likely to sacrifice the opportunity to earn a wage for the sake of their family. The contribution of women to our economy and our society is undervalued, both in paid work and at home. The OECD has shown that if we unleashed the true potential of women the economy could grow by an extra 10% by 2030 – adding an extra £180 billion to growth. WE will ensure all women who want to work can do so and are paid fairly for it. WE will work to end the bias in pay for occupations perceived as ‘male’ or ‘female’ that means caring work is paid less than manual labour. WE will be ruthless in the fight against direct discrimination that sees women pushed out of work or held back because of their gender.’

If you are in a relationship with a woman (whether also being a woman yourself) you are subject to less money because of her gender. If both genders were earning the same money that would be double money for everyone in a relationship – which is over half the country. By simply allowing equal pay everyone will benefit, and by 2030 the whole economy will be billions better off for it.

There will also be less of a detriment to certain careers which means both genders can be paid suitably for their chosen job role and not be discriminated for choosing a path that is currently perceived for only the other sex.

Other benefits include;

·         Waving fees for those that want a case on a claim on sexual discrimination at work which is currently £950 just to have it heard.

·         They also look at childcare – equal rights and more options for working mums. More mums that can work again will bring in more money to the economy. As well as supporting them to do so with more after school clubs, and more support for childcare.

·         In later life also revising pensions as women get less in their pension, alongside anyone in low pay in comparison to those in high pay. They will ensure both women and men receive the same as everyone, and help those who may need more.

·         Help women with menopause decrease stigma and women after 50 back into work. Also allow women over 50 to claim discrimination of women age in work back again.

Policy 2 – Equal parenting and care giving

·         Allowing fathers and same-sex partners the same rights as mothers.

·         Including allowing baby changing in men’s rooms which will eradicate the stigma of men looking after children and make them feel more comfortable and within their right to do so.

·         Men and same-sex partners will not be treated as visitors on the baby ward, and men will be allowed the same leave during their baby being born and have the opportunity to split that time with their partner. Including being allowed to attend natal sessions with their partner.

Policy 3 – Equality in education

‘From the moment they are born, our children are fed gendered expectations about their future life that undermine our ability to make progress. This has to change. Many schools and teachers are at the forefront of this debate, but there are too many places where gender assumptions remain unchallenged.’

This is so hugely important to everyone. If no one is discouraged everyone is encouraged. If no one is pigeonholed everyone is passionate. And if no one has barriers, everyone strives for success. There will be less gaps in education, in employment and less depression. If everyone is free to express themselves without fear then all genders will create a society that is harmonious.

One of the best segments from the policy outlines exactly how they are determined to abolish anyone from questioning themselves.

‘Girls need to know they can be astronauts and train drivers as well as fairies and princesses, and that it doesn’t matter whether they want to do it in pink sparkles or blue checks. Boys, too, can be liberated by letting go of the gender rules. Our sons can learn to care for a doll or express emotion without fear of mockery’

 This is so important as no other politician has even expressed looking at the very root of raising people without forms of stereotypes and pigeon holes. We are absolutely surrounded by it and drowning in it. For everyone’s eyes to be open not just the children themselves but the family surrounding them and the teachers educating them to believe it will make a huge difference to society. Furthermore, men will be more encouraged to become carers and teachers, because with females overwhelmingly being the workforce for looking after children they are looked upon as a it being the norm of a women’s job.

Other benefits include:

·         Compulsory education on teaching sex education, including consent by specialist teachers and for staff too.

·         Tackling schools at each level, including universities.

Policy 4 – Ending violence against women and girls

‘All women need to be able to walk down the street in peace.’

There has never been a truer sentence spoken. For the simple reality that most women fear the idea of walking down the street. Crossing paths if they are alone and see a male, or completely dismissing walking anywhere alone at night. And finally, the real discrimination of walking down the street to catcalls. Violence against women and girls are in many different forms, but to stand up and completely deny any ability for women to be at danger will also encourage safer streets for children. This will also decrease the stigma that men face when seeing women and girls fret or feel uncomfortable for the fear of being threatened or hurt.

Other benefits include:

·         Putting in laws and legislations to stop the sex trafficking and sex trade

·         More support for women and victims who have to deal with abuse

Policy 5 – Equality in the media

‘Equality in the media will support every other policy in this document’

The media quite horrifically controls our society. For majority of the current and future generations, their news is filled through social media. Their harassment is followed through and is not left at school or home. Anyone anywhere can be reached because of it.

Our societal expectations are also fed to us through the media. We read about the 10 sexiest men and the current slut shaming scandal. We see what the perfect beach body is and what the dad bod is. To the point of our clothes; man bags, meggings, etc. As Simon Amstell said “do men not have legs or hands?”

We must completely support WE in their attempts to combat media and their ambitions to finally stop the media lying to us, or feeding poison to all genders.

Policy 6 – Equal representation

‘Half the population are women, so half of our legislators should be women, too.’

They have a plan for a  50:50 Parliament by 2025. They do state that they do not like quotas but sometimes it is necessary in order to achieve goals and make everyone clear on their objectives. Of course equal representation isn’t just in politics, but in all walks of life, for both genders.

I believe people are quick to judge WE because they automatically assume that it will only benefit the lives of women. But society needs to understand that if women were equal to men than we would have a much stronger society and workforce. Not just in pay and opportunities, but it not denying anyone the right to achieve what they desire to achieve.

No more strings, only strength by working together and voting for those voices to be heard.

WE’s Objectives:
• WE are pushing for equal representation in politics, business, industry and throughout working life.
• WE expect equal pay and an equal opportunity to thrive.
• WE are campaigning for equal parenting and caregiving and shared responsibilities at home to give everyone equal opportunities both in family life and in the work place.
• WE urge an education system that creates opportunities for all children and an understanding of why this matters.
• WE strive for equal treatment of women by and in the media.
• WE seek an end to violence against women.

WE will:
• Campaign in our communities and through our branch network to encourage businesses, organisations and individuals to change their behaviour.
• Work with others in political parties, campaign organisations and beyond to strengthen the voice of all those who share our goals.
• Promote better research and understanding of the challenges women face, and the impact this has on our society, by working with academics and policy experts.
• Establish a Women’s Equality Standard kitemark for organisations that meet the highest standards of gender equality, and do all they can to achieve our six objectives.
• Continue to share the stories of our members and supporters to give voice to the everyday experience of women in our society and maintain momentum for change.
• Use our members, supporters, branches and online channels to gather more and deeper evidence about the problems our six goals address – and mobilise individuals to seek change.

And for anyone who has thoughts about our current government it may be worth thinking about what you could really need in your life and how we have the power to redefine what the vote means.

The thing I found most disturbing from the dodgy Dave clip is the stereotypical, pompous, bourgeoisie, upper class white male who was requesting the adjective to be struck. These Establishments are full of white, upper class, privileges who care not for the rest of the working class. Let alone any woman, or man of character.

Make a difference today and vote for equality.

*This 
article
 was 
first 
published in 
Kettle
 Mag.

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