THE Government must urgently step up efforts to stamp out discrimination against women, Green Party MEP Jean Lambert has said in a statement to mark International Women’s Day today (March 8th).
Ms Lambert’s call comes as a new report shows women are massively under-represented in all areas of public life – and as millions of people have called for worldwide efforts to prevent rape and sexual assault which affect more than one billion women during their lifetime.
She said: “In the 90 years since women won the right to vote in the UK, only 22.5% of MPs are women, according to a new report published by the ‘Counting Women In’ coalition. Less than 18% of UK Cabinet members are women.
“Indeed it has been estimated that a girl born today will be drawing her pension before women have achieved equal representation in the UK.
“The European Parliament – a much more gender neutral establishment – is better: just over one in three MEPs are female, an ever-increasing proportion.
“But equal representation is just one aspect of the discrimination women across the world face daily: women are more likely to be unemployed than men, those with jobs are likely to be paid less, one in four women will be raped or sexually assaulted at some point in their lives.”
“All of this is a fundamental breach of women’s human right not to be discriminated against – and it can, and must, be tackled if there’s only the political will to make it a priority.”
To mark International Women’s Day Ms Lambert will be attending the Refugee and Migrant Woman of the Year Awards 2013 and, tomorrow, the Waltham Forest Women’s Network celebratory event at Walthamstow Academy.