A few weeks ago I attended the inaugural meeting of the Women’s Equality Party.
It was called from a desire to FINALLY make a difference, not just for some women, not just for privileged women, but for all women.
And therefore, OBVIOUSLY, for everyone, because when half the world is equal, then ALL the world is equal.
And, using the Icelandic model where applicable, to force the main parties to put women’s equality TRULY on their agendas too.

Right now, even in the privileged west, we all too often treat women as if we are a minority.
Women are not a minority, and treating us as such doubly, trebly disadvantages women of colour, disabled women, lgbtq women etc etc.
We’re not there yet.
And the party, as such, is not formed yet.
It’s nascent, it’s in the process of making itself, and it needs EVERYONE WHO CARES in it NOW to make a difference. To make it the party they – we – need it to be.

The first meeting was called by a friend of my niece, and now a friend of mine. That’s how I knew about it.
The second meeting today has had a bit wider publicity, so we’re hoping the group who come along today are wider, and less mates of mates!) but it’s all being done in spare time and around other work, families, cares, health issues – all the stuff we all always deal with.
If you’re reading this in London on April 18 2015 and can come along to Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, 5.30pm for 6pm start, please do!
Here’s the event page (facebook, no website yet …) :

And if you think the Women’s Equality Party might not be this or that enough, might not represent these women or those women (or men or gender-fluid or non-binary or ANYONE) enough, PLEASE get involved.
Please get involved now, while it’s still becoming, please offer to be on the steering committee, answer the emails, do the work, help the people who are doing this now as we make it up.
It’s embryonic, but it will become the thing that it’s made up of now.
It needs all of us who care about equality in it.
Maybe I will see you at today’s meeting, if you can make it, maybe see you on the mailing list if not.
There’s a real need for branches/chapters (I’m not sure what to call them) outside of London, and volunteers to start them would be brilliant.
And I know, you don’t have time, I don’t have time, NO ONE who has said they’ll be on the steering committee has time.
But what’s that “be the change you want to see” that I’ve seen attributed to everyone from Gandhi to Mandela to Eleanor Roosevelt? Here’s (another) chance to be that change.

There isn’t a website yet.
There is a facebook page.
The email address to ask to be added to the mailing list is on this page as well. (Can’t put it here due to spam likelihood.)
And a great blog about it on Mumsnet from Sophie Walker.

Join in. If you want to be part of it, you are wanted.

And here’s the Mission Statement :

Equality for women isn’t a women’s issue. When women fulfill their potential, everyone benefits. Equality means better politics, a more vibrant economy, a workforce that draws on the talents of the whole population and a society at ease with itself.

The Women’s Equality Party will be a new non-partisan force in British politics bringing together women and men of all ages and backgrounds, united in the campaign for women to enjoy the same rights and opportunities as men so that both sexes can flourish.

The Women’s Equality Party will work towards such a society. We will push for equal representation in politics and business to ensure women’s voices are heard at the same volume as men’s. We will urge an education system that creates opportunities for all girls and boys and an understanding of why this matters. We will press for equal pay and equal parenting rights enabling women and men to share opportunity and responsibility in the workplace and at home. We will seek an end to violence against women.

We will bring about change by winning—support, votes and seats. We will not try to present ourselves as a party with an answer on every issue and a full palette of policies. Our focus will be clear and unambiguous and we will not stop attracting votes from the other political parties until they embrace and adopt our agenda of equality.