We often express our concerns that so few women are elected - either at local or parliamentary level. Recently, the Fawcett Society and the Institute for Public Policy Research looked at women both as elected representatives and as candidates. The results were quite stark.
At a local level, the actions of some male colleagues put women off from standing and when women did stand, some men barred their way to progress and put women off political office by their behaviour.
They found that there were not enough women elected to support one another and change things for the better.
As Liberal Democrat Women, we have the opportunity to begin to make that change and to do so right now. In many areas, women are standing for election as Liberal Democrat candidates. If elected, they will make a real difference both locally and nationally.
So, how can you help?
Liberal Democrat Women is organising a number of Action Days. Four are already in the pipeline and others will follow. As part of this, there will be the opportunity to do some training in a range of campaigning techniques and see those techniques in action. For those who do give up their time to help, we can also contribute towards travel costs.
Our first Action Days will be in Cheltenham, Sutton and Chiswick. Some are still being organised. Thanks to Isabelle Parasaram, Ruth Dombey and Helen Cross for coordinating the days.
The Sutton Action Day is Saturday 14th April. Liberal Democrats have been running Sutton Council since 1986 and currently hold 43 of the 54 seats. We have lots of new women candidates who need your help to get elected. We will be talking to postal voters on 14th April. Come and find out how to run a winning postal vote campaign - it's just as important as Polling Day and can make all the difference in winning an election.
Contact Council Leader Cllr Ruth Dombey on 07798 798 587 or Sutton Development Officer Drew Heffernan on 07813 561 206.
The Cheltenham Action Day is Saturday 21st April. In Cheltenham, 45% of our candidates are women, many of them new to elections. New, yes, but determined to win! We expect great results from some terrific campaigners. Liberal Democrats currently hold 29/40 seats on the Council.
You can contact me by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org
), by phone (01242255844) or you can reach the Cheltenham local party office on 01242 224889.
We will be circulating information on our other Action Days as they are finalised. I look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail!