Jo is delighted that delegates at the Liberal Democrats’ Autumn conference have backed her ‘Real Women’ campaign.
Jo, who chaired the party’s Women’s Policy Working Group, presented the ‘Real Women’ policy paper on Saturday at the conference in Bournemouth. The proposals were supported by an overwhelming majority of conference delegates to become official party policy.
Policies in the Real Women paper include:
• Providing twenty hours of free, good quality childcare per week, for all children from 18 months to when they start school
• Requiring companies to publish data on the pay scales within their organisations and conduct pay audits
• Introducing a ‘name blanking’ policy so that job applicants apply with National Insurance numbers
• Modules on body image, health and well-being, and media literacy to be taught in schools
• Tackle body image pressure by requiring advertisers to label all adverts, disclosing the extent of digital retouching of images of people
Commenting, Jo said:
“Women face pressure from all directions these days. Hit hard by the recession, trying to juggle family commitments with work and home life, and bombarded with adverts that contain completely unattainable images that no-one can live up to in real life.
“Despite great strides forward in equality, women still get paid less than men, and generally still end up taking more responsibility for childcare and looking after elderly relatives. This can be hugely rewarding, but combining this with a job can seem almost impossible.
“There’s a lot the Government could do to give a helping hand. Making employers check for pay discrimination would help women get the money they deserve. Providing 20 hours per week free childcare would allow parents to make real choices about returning to work. And it would be nice to inject some realism into the media’s portrayal of women, instead of the suggestion that nothing less than perfection will do.”