By Joyce Wilson / Latest News / 0 Comments

Our collective power can drive change to protect women

Canterbury & Whitstable Labour Women’s Group were delighted to host Dawn Butler (Labour MP for Brent Central) at their first meeting in 2021, on Wednesday 17th March. She was introduced by Councillor Connie Nolan, Women’s Officer for Canterbury Labour.

Dawn reflected on the effect of the pandemic on women’s lives and on the events of this month, with International Women’s Day and the theme of ‘choose to challenge’, and the killing of Sarah Everard further highlighting the issue of violence against women. In the UK a woman is killed by a man every three days.

There was a high level of engagement with questions from the 26 attendees, covering issues from the police response to the vigil on Clapham Common, to the make up of the Parliamentary Equalities Committee and ideas for getting more women into leadership positions.

Her key message was that in order to drive change society needs to value women more, because a society that works for women will work for everyone. She said all individuals, men included, need to use their voices to challenge bad behaviour and that women need to use their collective power to drive change. She believes the government response to the pandemic has shown we can do things differently and the opportunity is there for Labour to continue to promote of the ideas, from the Labour Manifesto forward. For example, the 4-day week and improved employee benefits.

Women’s Officer for Whitstable Labour, Councillor Valerie Kenny, thanked Dawn for a refreshing and uplifting discussion and committed that Labour Women in Canterbury and Whitstable will be focusing on ways to use their collective power to drive for positive change for women in the local area.

A donation of £100 was made to the Rising Sun Domestic Violence and Abuse Charity in Canterbury in Dawn’s name to thank her for attending.