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Horsham Liberal Democrats

"We cannot wait 117 years for gender parity" International Women's Day in the Lords

March 14, 2016 11:37 AM
By Derek Deedman in Letter of the Lords

The House of Lords debated the progress made on women's empowerment and representation in the UK to mark International Women's Day.

Liberal Democrat Equalities Spokesperson, Meral Hussein-Ece warned of the ongoing international issue of violence in conflict: "Sexual violence in conflict is a much wider, really serious global issue. It all comes back to the status of women. Sadly, until the status of women is further enhanced and accelerated, violence will continually be used as a tool to keep women in their place."

In an article for Lib Dem Voice Meral warned that we cannot wait another 117 years for gender parity.

Former DfID Minister, Lindsay Northover said: "It is through economic independence that women's lives are most likely to be transformed. More than four decades after the Equal Pay Act, women are still paid almost 20% less than their male co-workers.

"We need women at every level of the economy and society, which is why we put such effort into supporting the Davies commission on women on boards. I am very glad that we are now at 25%, with the threat of quotas underpinning the action taken. But we also need to see this extended and replicated in companies outside this group, as well as, most significantly, among chief executives and those lower down the ranks. We also need to see women treated fairly whatever their level in society."

Liz Barker talked about LGBT women's health: "The National Health Service is a great institution and I do not want to run it down, but those of us who are taxpayers and LGBT women have a right to deserve better-just to get what everybody else does.

"it is only when we live in communities that understand our needs as individuals, and when we have institutions that bring us together on the basis of our similarity and not trading on our differences, that we become a successful economy and society."

International widows' rights campaigner, Raj Loomba said: "We have some remarkable women in this House and in the other place, showing what can be achieved. However, it is a sorry state of affairs that, although women make up nearly half of the population, they are under-represented where decisions that affect their lives and the lives of their families are made. This under-representation leads to bad policies and bad law that take years to unravel and right the wrong."