2015 may be drawing to a close, but we’re busy as ever at LWN. We’ve met with Jeremy Corbyn MP to raise some of the key issues covered in our #powerpledge, and we’ve had the results back from our members’ survey on Party Structures. We’re looking forward to our Festive Drinks and putting together our Equality Christmas List. And we’ve still got places on our training programme for January.
2015 has been a busy year for all of us. Together, we campaigned for Labour Women at the General Election. We were devastated with the result, but we’re also proud to see so many talented women in the PLP. We used the Leadership election to put women’s equality in the Party firmly on the agenda, with every single candidate signing our #powerpledge. And we’ve launched our new, biggest ever, training programme for Labour Women.
Christmas is definitely around the corner, so get your jingle on and buy a ticket for our Christmas Drinks on the 14th Dec in London. We have special guests and an extra special Santa (along with a Santa’s sack of feminist prezzies), and plenty of Christmas cheer for one and all.
All We Want For Christmas is EQUALITY!
At our CHRISTMAS DRINKS we will be writing our Equality Christmas List!
What do you think our Party should look like in 2016? What can our Party do to empower women? What needs to change?
Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the drinks, you can let us know your ideas to add to our Equality Christmas List here.
We are busy planning an exciting start to 2016.
We will be holding two dinners, one in London and another in Manchester; we’re putting together a programme of regional Political Evenings; and we have big plans for our #powerpledge petition too.
More information will be announced early in the New Year.
Our survey is now closed, so thank you very much to everyone who responded. We'll be doing a detailed analysis of the results (which will be up on the website) but in the meantime here are some headline figures.
92% of you thought the Party should continue to use AWS until sustained gender balance (50/50) has been achieved in the Parliamentary Labour Party.
78% thought that there should be a financial support scheme for candidates who can't afford the cost of the selection process, and 65% believe that there should be much better equalities training for members when they're selecting candidates.
77% think that we need to select candidates as soon as possible, but we should also introduce a financial support scheme for candidates to help with costs such as travel, childcare and accommodation.
Only 17% favoured alternative selection mechanisms such as open primaries.
Over 50% of you thought that Women's Conference should have decision-making powers of some kind, but there was no clear view about how that should work.
The Party will soon be reviewing a number of areas of policy-making, selection and organisation, and we will feed the results of the survey in to that. In the meantime, we will continue to ask you your opinion about things from time to time, so thank you for your contribution.
We have trained our first cohort of regional trainers and our new Local Women's Workshop scheme will be starting in the New Year. We are currently trying to organise a date for a second training day, so there is still time to apply if you think this is something you'd like to do. You can find out more here.
In the meantime, there are still places available on our first Local Women's Leadership training on 14 January in Leeds. This is for women councillors who are thinking about moving into leadership roles, so if that's you have a look at the details and apply!
Our Training Co-ordinator, Nan Sloane, is crowdfunding for the Centre for Women & Democracy to publish a book of political quotations entirely by women from around the world for International Women's Day 2016. The absence of women from the mainstream collections of quotations and speeches means that women politicians, commentators and thinkers are forgotten more quickly than men, and certainly thought to have said, and achieved, less. In the Dictionary of Labour Quotations, for instance, there are just four quotes from Harriet Harman - and twenty by Peter Hain. And women from outside the UK are almost completely ignored in almost every collection. So CFWD is aiming to put all this right; if you can help by pledging or publicising (or even both!) you can find out how to do it here.
You can find out more about the work of the Labour Womens Network at