Respect my SeX if you want my X
by Bev White
Saturday 2nd April dawned with the sun shining bright. The previous evening phones had pinged giving women the location of Victoria Tower Gardens, a small park next to the Palace of Westminster containing the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst. We were meeting at 11 o’clock.
The event had been promoted within branches of Women’s Rights Network (WRN) and via their twitter account. WRN are an ever-growing network of UK women, led and directed by Heather Binning with a band of proficient women behind her. I was aware the event was linked to the upcoming local elections, raising awareness of the erosion of women’s rights and holding politicians to account, so decided to attend.
The message about women’s rights and the abysmal way politicians of all parties have been making a hash of answering ‘What is a woman?’ had been making waves in the media in a way that hadn’t seemed possible a year or two ago, though the media have a long way to go themselves on this issue.
I planned to get into London early and take a leisurely walk from St Pancreas to Westminster. I arrived at the park just before 11.00am, glimpsing purple, white and green balloons bobbing round the corner as I walked past Emmeline by the park gate. Quite a large crowd were already gathered, some having been at the Sex Matters event the previous evening. I found the women from CambsWomen-Together who had arrived with the group’s banner in hand.
The speeches commenced not long after - first up was Heather Binning (WRN) stating why the event was taking place, why it matters to women that our voices are heard and how WRN are trying to bring women’s voices together across the kitchen table.
Maya Forstater (Sex Matters) urged women to ask their political representatives about women and for them to have respect for women.
Caroline Ffiske (Women Uniting) talking about bringing women of all (or no) political persuasions together on this important issue.
‘Women have a powerful voice and every vote matters’ Joanna Cherry (MP)
‘Every single party is split regarding sex based rights’ @LabWomenDec
‘Not all Lib Dems are crazy, it’s just finding who they are’ @LibVoice4Women
Speeches over, we meandered over to Parliament Square Garden in groups for a photo call under the shadow of Millicent Fawcett holding a banner ‘Courage Calls to Courage Everywhere’. I wondered what she would make of today’s Fawcett Society and their capitulation to males.
Photos finished we made our way as always to the pub, linking up with faces old and new, all with one thing in common, we want and expect UK politicians to recognise our sex and respect our rights. I made my way home feeling invigorated and buoyed by the sprits of the women around me, ready to challenge my local politicians and political candidates.
For more information visit - https://www.womensrights.network/respect-my-sex