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I'm Fighting For The Equal World We Needed 100 Years Ago

08/03/2017 12:05
LuckyNastia via Getty Images

On March 8 2017, a demonstration of women textile workers began in Petrograd, Russia, marking the beginning of the Russian Revolution[1]. Striking out against the oppressive Tsarist regime, workers had understandably had enough of inequality and poor conditions; and demonstrated that it could go on no longer. 100 years later, I wonder why equality for all genders still doesn't feel within reach.

Despite studying the Russian Revolution in my A Level History, the women who sparked the revolution were not known to me. As is shown in the recent blockbuster and Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures [2], women's achievements are often written out of history.

Today we don't just celebrate International Women's Day, but we also get the first of two 2017 budgets by Chancellor Phillip Hammond. One would hope he would use this budget to ensure the world is more equal, but from what we've seen so far [3] I'm not hopeful. And let's face it, for the party that has given us our only two women prime ministers, the conservative party are one of the last parties on the list I'd join to create a more equal world.

In the United Kingdom, women are underrepresented and under-supported on every level. In many households, we still complete hours of unpaid work in our roles as the primary care-givers and according to figures released by PWC, as of 2015 there was still a 16.9% gap in wages between men and women. [4] For some women of colour, this figure is be even worse [5] and that's without considering the disparity between men in part-time work compared to women and other marginalised genders.

I could go on, but the picture for me is clear - we must do everything we can to fight for gender equality.

When I joined the Green Party, I knew I was a feminist. And I knew the party was feminist too. It wasn't just the presence of strong women in high-ranking roles, but the policies they promoted. Four years on and after 18 months as Co-Chair of the Young Greens, I'm confident I made the right choice.

I'm proud to be part of a party that fights for marginalised genders. From introducing a citizens income to ensure that everyone is paid for the work they complete to providing things like breastfeeding breaks at work (my favourite!) to ensure that the workplace is more accessible for mothers [6], a Green Government would undoubtedly create the world we should have had 100 years ago.

The theme of today is #BeBoldForChange and you could use today to make your own statement against inequality by joining the Green Party from £5 per year at http://join.greenparty.org.uk.

Notes
[1] https://iwd.uchicago.edu/page/international-womens-day-history
[2] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4846340/
[3] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/uk-budget-2017-latest-news-tax-spending-changes-philip-hammond-chancellor-exchequer-funding-nhs-a7616556.html
[4] http://www.pwc.co.uk/services/economics-policy/insights/women-in-work-index.html
[5] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39181532
[6] https://greenpartywomen.org.uk/policies.html

Thank you to Emma Carter for her help with this article.

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