The Launch of Women & Politics London
I am happy to announce the launch of our new blog and to share with you the story of how Women and Politics, a citizen-led initiative that looks to engage and increase the participation of women in the political landscape, came to be.
In October we hosted a very successful Pints and Politics discussion on women and the barriers they face in participating in politics. A double-work day, lack of role models, negative environment, overt focus on women’s appearances and an absence of women’s perspectives were just a few of the reasons identified as to why women may be reluctant to participate or engage with politics.
It is recognized that although many women are active in their communities, many are reluctant to acknowledge how this participation connects to politics. Because of this it was decided that a space was needed for women to have meaningful conversations about politics and community. A space where we could actively work to increase the participation of women as both citizens and candidates at all levels of government and look at policy issues from a gendered lens.
With a 2014 municipal election on the horizon we felt the time was particularly ripe for us to come together and create change.
We held our first official meeting in November and about 20 women of varying ages, backgrounds and perspectives came out to help shape the direction of the group. Many different activities were proposed including this blog, a citizen tool kit, ‘field trips’ to city council meetings, educational workshops on citizen tools (letter writing, making a delegation to council etc..), telling the stories of women politicians, reaching out to marginalized communities, get-out-to-vote campaigns and more.
Our next meeting is January 20, 2014 where we will continue the planning process and also host a local politician who will share her story about her path to politics. Stay tuned for registration information.
As our group is non-partisan, we hope to represent a variety of political viewpoints here. We will have several different authors writing for the blog and will welcome additional guest posts that fit our mandate.
We look forward to engaging in meaningful conversations and making new connections.