Promoting Women's Rights at the Labour Party Conference
Last week I attended the Labour Party Conference to promote VSO's Women in Powercampaign which is calling for women's participation and influence in decision making roles to be recognised through a target in the post 2015 development framework. Two third of people living in extreme poverty are women, yet they have the least say in what is done to tackle this. Not only is this unjust but it is a major barrier to tackling extreme poverty.
It was exciting to attend an event like this in Manchester, where I live. There was a buzz around the conference that spread out into the city. It was a chance for campaigners to raise their voice on important issues, for labour party members to have their say, and politicians to outline Labours stance on policies and issues.
On Sunday, the conference kicked off for me in attending the 'Young Labour Women: Circular Firing Up Squad Workshop'. It was great to see so many women motivated to increasing women's leadership skills and mentoring each other to aim high. Much of what I saw echoed the work I did in increasing women's leadership capacity in Nepal. Labour had many events at the conference focussing on increasing women's leadership; including 'Sex and Power' event and 'is your cabinet 50/50?' This fitted well with our own aims to raise the profile of gender as a development issue with Labour's parliamentarians.
At the VSO and International Citizens Service (ICS) fringe event, ICS volunteers, Nushrath and Jake inspired the audience with why this generation is in a position to tackle world poverty. It was great to see Alison McGovern, MP Shadow international development minister advocating for internationalism and in support of VSO and the ICS programme.