Parliament was jam-packed today with the members of UK Feminista, who had come to lobby their MPs. I met four constituents, one of whom, Laura Pankhurst, is the great-great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and the great granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst! Laura wore clothes of the period and a Suffragette sash.
UK Feminista was founded in 2010 as a national voice for feminism. Many activists from across the country converged on London today to call for more action to push forward women’s equality.
After a morning of speeches and briefings at Central Hall, Westminster, the Feminista supporters walked to the House of Commons to meet MPs. Laura was with her friends, Katie Reeve and Lydia Crook (pictured with me above) and Amy Finch also came. One of the issues they were very concerned about was violence against women and what is being done about it. I explained that I am a member of the Ministerial working group on violence against women and this is a very important issue to me. I was also keen to mention David Cameron’s promise to do more about preventing the sexualisation of children and I shall be letting the girls know what progress that has been made so far in this area.
Other issues of concern for UK Feminista include gender stereotypes, availability of child care, abortion and justice for female asylum seekers. We had an excellent discussion and the girls put forward many strong points. I have promised to do some research on some of the areas we discussed and will be writing to them soon!