On Saturday 6th October, Wyre Forest Labour Women’s Group met at Stourport Manor, to discuss the ways that Wyre Forest Labour can increase the participation of local women in politics.
The discussion was lead by Jacqui Smith, former Labour Home Secretary, and who is very active in Labour Women’s Network.
Jacqui Smith gave women Labour members an inspirational presentation about her own journey into politics, and that of many other women throughout history. There was a lively discussion about the challenges and opportunities for women in Wyre Forest. Those present say they found it very inspiring and empowering with so many likeminded women who want to improve equality in our communities and opportunities for women. The aim gong forward will be to identify and encourage the human potential in local women. Wyre Forest Labour Women’s Group want to see more women stand as Labour candidates, as well as advocate for their communities in what is a male dominated political world.
Wyre Forest Labour’s Women’s Group immediate plans are for further training sessions, including canvassing tips in preparation for upcoming elections. Our women members feel that with the possibility of a snap general election in the air as Tory Brexit negotiations falter into total disarray, dogged by Tory infighting, Women’s votes to create a fairer society will be critical. This is especially important because women have been more detrimentally affected by the impact of Tory austerity than anyone else.
Meg Clay, Labour Women’s Officer and organiser of the event said “It was exciting to hear from such an experienced and knowledgable politician as Jacqui. Having been brought up in Worcestershire, she became the first woman Home Secretary. It shows that local women do have the potential for the highest office, and can rise to the top. There is nothing that should hold any woman back and this is the message we will be delivering to women in the District. We will be encouraging more Labour women to become involved in local politics as well as stand for council in order to ensure that the issues of concern to us are high on the political agenda. Only that way can we achieve true equality.”
Stephen Brown, Wyre Forest Media Officer said “it’s fantastic that our women members are getting organised, getting advice, and preparing to undertake canvassing training sessions. It’s important Labour women get more involved in local politics in what is regarded generally as a bit of a man’s world. We all want to see these attitudes change and our women members are seizing the initiative for themselves to make it happen. It’s brilliant. There is so much enthusiasm and optimism when day by day, slowly but surely, we get nearer to a Labour Government. Jacqui Smith has had an amazing journey to get to the top of Government and I hear that she offered some good, practical, sound, advice. We are acutely aware that locally we need more women Labour candidates and this is a great way to achieve that so voters get more choice. I look forward to working with our women members to secure a Labour victory when the next General Election comes, as well as in the local elections, so we see more elected Labour women making a fairer, better society, for the many not the few.”