We welcome the petition of Women For Independence on how the election campaign should be conducted. We will only be fielding a small number of candidates where local branches have made the decision to stand. As a party we are proud that we have a 50/50 Executive Committee and a male and female co-spokesperson and co-chair. We recognise this is only the beginning though.
Many women in the party were very active inside the Women For Indy campaign and found their voices. Some of us are also local in the newly formed Women For Independence local group. We also have a large number of women activists who have been inspirational in their values and their feminist ideals and most of all their energy to make a difference in local communities.
We acknowledge that at the General Election campaign women should receive further representation. At our last Executive Council it was recognised that although we only have one female candidate, (national co-spokesperson Sandra Webster), women should be central and at the front of all our campaigning. This will mean we will strive to ensure women are represented on every election platform.
Electioneering can resort into name-calling especially with the enhanced role of social media and we will ensure our social media team when using our Twitter, Facebook and other apps that no-one feels threatened or uses discriminatory language. If so it will be managed so it will not occur again. If we make mistakes we promise we will learn from them.
In all our campaigns we will strive to support women on the many issues that affect them. Especially working class women as we live in these communities and understand the real impact of austerity and how it is especially impacting on the lives of women.
We acknowledge we are not perfect, we will make mistakes especially as we have so many new members finding their feet. We thank Women For Independence for drawing up this statement which highlights the barriers women experience in society. We look forward to being members of, and working alongside you as we strive for more equality. We are especially committed to campaigning for the issues that especially impact on working class women. We recognise that class leads to an unequal society and we will always continue to reach out to women where they are in their local communities. Tackling austerity will change all our lives. Women and those they care for are first in the firing line of the cuts, tackling inequality means recognising this and bringing about real change in women’s lives.
Thanks for challenging us.
This statement was agreed by a number of us; all of whom are active in the party and some of whom have been involved in Women For Indy. The statement is only the beginning of a process that can transform politics.
and Sandra Webster