Green Party Women

Green MEP to debate women's political future in Newington Green, the birthplace of feminism

25 April 2009

Jean Lambert, London's Green Party MEP, will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Mary Wollstonecraft, the mother of feminism, by taking part in a debate about the position of women in politics today.

The discussion, entitled Political Power for Women: How Far Have We Come? Why Does It Matter? will take place at 7pm on Saturday 25 April at the Newington Green Unitarian Church.

Jean Lambert MEP will join other prominent London politicians, Diane Abbott MP and Emily Thornberry MP, for the debate, which will be chaired by the journalist Suzanne Moore.

The event forms one of a series to mark the birth of Mary Wollstonecraft, author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, the seminal treatise first published in 1792, which argued against the received attitudes of women and femininity, and called for women to develop, and be credited with, their own intellectual faculties.

Wollstonecraft was also an educationalist: central to her argument in the Vindication was a call for girls to be granted the right to a rational education. The passion and foresight of her work made her an icon for the feminist movement.

Jean, a former teacher and a longstanding campaigner for equality, said: "Women have made great strides in politics, but are still hugely underrepresented, with just one in five MPs and one in four MEPs being female.
"I am proud to be celebrating the achievements of Mary Wollstonecraft, who was a true inspiration to women of her time and indeed to many people now. She was prepared to stand up for women's rights and challenge the status quo in a way that that no-one had done before.

"Still the glass ceiling exists for many women when it comes to career opportunities and the gender pay gap often starts with first jobs, despite the fact that women's educational achievements equal or outdo those of men.
"I encourage anyone who is interested in discussing the role of women in modern society to come along to the debate - it should prove to be a lively and empowering evening."
Profits from the Mary Wollstonecraft celebrations will be donated to Stop the Traffik, the worldwide movement to combat people trafficking.

Further details about the debate and other events to mark the 250th anniversary of Mary Wollstonecraft's birth.

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