We will never be a successful society in which all are able to achieve their potential until we have equality for women. Women continue to face discrimination and sexism. That in turn collectively damages our society and our economy. And we know that the austerity policies of this government, slashing public services and entitlement to social security, have hit women hardest. That's why I'm so glad that Jeremy Corbyn has opened up a big discussion about the role women would play if he is elected leader of the Labour party - and setting some pointers of the kind of agenda for women we as a party would have. I'm delighted to be working with him on this. We can't change the world overnight, but we can do much more together to achieve greater equality and opportunity for everyone. Jeremy has launched a Working With Women document. With Jeremy as leader it's clear that women will be listened to and will play an equal part in a collective leadership. This is what we're talking about today:
- Work towards universal free childcare, and offering opportunity for all through a National Education Service
- Ending the cuts to public services and welfare that drive more women and families into poverty, including the cuts to services for ending violence against women and girls, including refuges and support for domestic violence and rape survivors.
- Making companies publish equal pay audits, and giving all workers equal protections from day one at work with no fees at employment tribunals, challenging discrimination in the workplace and achieving equal and higher pay for all.
- Investing more in skills training and high quality apprenticeships with an emphasis on challenging outdated gender stereotypes
- Challenging everyday sexism, with Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education in schools that includes sex and relationship education
- Committing to a 50% women shadow cabinet, and working towards 50% of Labour MPs being women, if elected Labour leader
- Actively promoting and ensuring that our laws on sexual assault and protection from harassment are implemented - women should not feel ashamed, or made to feel belittled, by reporting behaviour they find intimidating to the police.