Green Party Women

Green Party women meet in Huddersfield

11 November 2008

On Saturday November the Green Party held its 3rd Women in Green Politics Day, in Huddersfield .  


 “Women are often active in their local communities,” said Shan Oakes,  “and many women politicians are achieving at high levels, but there are still far fewer women than men at all levels of political life. "  


The meeting was attended by women from around the country, including two Green Party candidates for the European elections next year, the Green deputy mayor of Kirklees, Julie Stewart-Turner, and Sarah Jennings, recently elected as Liverpool's second Green Party councillor.   


Shan Oakes, Green Party candidate for Europe for Yorkshire and the Humber, said, “The Green Party is fully committed to equality and diversity.  We are the only serious UK political party to have a woman as its leader.  Caroline Lucas was elected as our leader this year with an overwhelming majority.  She is one of the most able politicians of her generation. 


The meeting in Huddersfield produced a list of steps that the Green Party can take to encourage more women into politics.  Some measures from earlier meetings have already been put into place, including the addition of an equality and diversity coordinator on the national executive. The first holder of that post, Maya de Souza, was at the meeting.


Shan Oakes continued, "The Green Party recognises that there are not enough women at all levels in politics in the UK and is taking energetic steps to redress this in its own practice. The Green Party is leading the way in encouraging more women into politics, and Green Party women in Yorkshire are in the forefront of the challenge.


"Ignoring women, and the barriers they face in entering politics, is a waste of talent.  The Green Party is working to enable more women to stand as candidates for councils, the UK and European parliaments and the Welsh and London assemblies.  The Green Party’s two MEPs are women, Caroline Lucas and Jean Lambert.  The Green Party has many women councillors including 7 out of the 12 Green councillors on Lancaster council, and one of our two London Assembly members.


"Eighty years after all women were able to vote in the UK , there are still few women in Gordon Brown’s cabinet. There will be a black president in the White House in January, but how many women are there in Obama’s proposed team?”


The meeting was organised and supported financially by Kirklees Green Party.  Previous meetings have been in Barnsley and Sheffield, and at Green Party conferences. The next one will be at the Spring conference in March.

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