International Women’s Day gives us an opportunity to acknowledge the challenges we still face, while celebrating the women who have worked to advance equality for us all.
We still do not live in an equal world. Two women a week are killed by a partner or ex, austerity disproportionately impacts women, and we know from those who have shared their experiences over recent months that sexual harassment is rife across all fields. Including politics.
The stories we have heard about sexual harassment have been distressing, as have some of the attacks we’ve seen on women and feminism, including from some of the world’s most powerful men. However, the response from a growing diverse movement of women who have decided to try to change things has been inspiring.
From the WASPI women campaigning for fair pensions, to the women in all workplaces who have come forward to say ‘time’s up’ on sexual harassment and Plaid Cymru Councillor Elyn Stephens working to tackle period poverty in Rhondda Cynon Taf – we are surrounded by examples of women speaking up and coming together to change things.
And so this year on International Women’s Day, I want to repeat my call for more women to stand for Plaid Cymru at every level of elected office. In particular, I want to see more young, lesbian, bi, trans, working class women and women of colour at the forefront of our national movement.
We have only come this far because of the women who came before us, so if you think things could be better than this: get involved. If we’re going to keep changing things, we’re going to need you.