THE BLOG

Why WE Want You

11/12/2015 17:21 GMT | Updated 11/12/2016 10:12 GMT

Next Spring, for the first time in this country's political history, candidates will be seeking election on a mandate of making our country a fairer place for women.

The Women's Equality Party this week launched our search for the people who in May 2016 will contest seats for us in the London and Welsh Assemblies and in the Scottish Parliament.

WE are impatient to win. WE have already waited too long for a more equal society.

As I write, our state broadcaster is considering awarding a 'personality' trophy to a man who says his wife needs to be beaten from time to time.

As I write, the government is planning to fund women's domestic violence support services with the proceeds of an unfair and unsustainable tampon tax.

As I write, the education secretary is considering removing feminism from the politics A-level, a sure sign if one was needed that women's history and activism is not considered important.

This week we saw Human Rights Day, the final day of our campaign #16days of action that began on November 25, the UN's International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

We have published blogs every day from services that are being decimated by poor funding and even poorer short-term commissioning processes, leaving vulnerable women even more at risk.

We have called for a cross-party commitment to sustained funding for these services - to take the politics out of supporting women and girls experiencing violence so that their needs are not de-prioritised according to where we are on the electoral cycle.

And we have presented a fully-funded plan to put more money into those life-saving organisations - part of an exciting, member and supporter-sourced policy document that presents a range of practical, pragmatic suggestions that prove wrong all those politicians who say achieving equality for women is simply "too hard."

Just a month ago, WE began our election campaign by crowdfunding the £31,000 required to pay for candidates' deposits in these elections.

WE expected to still be collecting this after Christmas.

Instead, it took less than a week to hit our target.

WE know that the appetite for change is huge. Now WE know that there is the political will to match it.

Being a candidate for the Women's Equality Party is about being a pioneer. We want to shape a new kind of politics.

WE are looking for people who share our values and demonstrate them in their everyday lives; people who thrive on variety, relish bringing the best out of people and are committed to standing up for what's right and fair.

Because WE are doing things differently, WE will support the people selected to represent us at each stage of their campaign: We are offering a bursary fund and free childcare during the campaign to enable those who might not otherwise be able to afford a role in politics to make their voices heard.

We have also developed an induction programme for all candidates with a range of training to help them fit into their new roles.

Our candidates will be non-partisan, from backgrounds right across the political spectrum, united in bringing a laser-like focus on the six policy goals with which we will deliver equality for women.

If this sounds like you, please head to our website and apply to be our candidates.

WE are on a fantastically exciting journey. WE can't wait for you to come aboard.

Sophie Walker is the leader of the Women's Equality Party (WEP)