Topic

women's rights

229 petitions

Update posted 6 hours ago

Petition to Theresa May MP

Make MPs accountable for sexual harassment

The sexual assault and harassment allegations in Westminster have appalled us all. Theresa May has called for a culture of respect at Parliament and both she proposed a code of conduct and better complaints procedures. These are useful steps, but more can be done to hold politicians to account. As an employment lawyer, I've worked with women who have reported abuse in Westminster and seen politicians not held to account. For example, we worked with women who made sexual misconduct claims against Lord Rennard. The investigation in 2013 concluded that there was not enough evidence for disciplinary action and that Lord Rennard should reflect on his conduct, apologise, and consider changing his behaviour in the future. Lord Rennard did not even apologise. The Equality Act 2010 can be used to hold sexual predators to account in the workplace. But MPs and Lords are exempted because they are "office holders", meaning it is even harder for victims to achieve justice. That is one of the key reasons why sexual harassment is so prominent at Westminster. It is why I'm calling to remove their exemption. Other officer-holders like civil servants, police officers, and Parliamentary staff can be held accountable under the Equality Act. By making the exemption, politicians legislated that their own harassing conduct could not be challenged - they made themselves unaccountable under the Act. Please sign my petition to make this happen and to empower victims of sexual harassment by MPs and Lords.

Lawrence Davies
1,968 supporters
Update posted 20 hours ago

Petition to Justine Greening MP, Theresa May MP

Free Menstrual Products For All Children On Free School Meals #FreePeriods

Millions of children around the world are denied an education. In the UK, every child has the right to go to school but a growing number of them face missing school every month for the simple reason that they can’t afford menstrual products.  As a schoolgirl myself, I know we must change this. Period Poverty must go. That's why we are calling on the Government to provide free menstrual products to all children on free school meals.  Back in March, UK charity Freedom4Girls, which provides menstrual products to women and girls in Kenya, was approached for donations by a school in Leeds, which had become increasingly concerned about the number of girls recurrently absent from school. Children as young as 11 suffer the shame of using socks, or taping tissue to underwear. It is not only unacceptable, but can seriously jeopardise their health. Tina Leslie, founder of Freedom4Girls, stated, ‘Nobody thinks it’s happening here, but it is happening here.’ Period poverty has always existed and, up until recently, nothing has been done to tackle the issue head-on. Period taboo meant these children don’t feel comfortable to speak freely and openly about their struggles. It means we may never know the full extent of this problem. We need to escort period shame out of the door and mobilise the government so that children from the lowest income backgrounds are not marginalised.  Yes, ideally, we would strive to convince the Government to provide free menstrual products to ALL children in the UK. This is the first step towards that. What is encouraging is that, earlier this year, for the first time in history, the House of Lords debated menstrual product provision - a bold and momentous step towards eradicating Period Poverty forever. And Baroness Burt of Solihull, incredibly, went one step further saying: ‘Could we not give sanitary towels to girls who qualify for free school meals? We already know who they are, and the cost of setting up the system would, I am sure, be very small. It would mean that all girls in school could confidently attend school all month round without having to worry about the embarrassment of their period letting them down.’ The conversation has continued. 13 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion  ‘Free Provision of Sanitary Products for Girls from Low-Income Families’ proposed by MP Greg Mulholland. Real change doesn’t seem so far away. But we need to take advantage of this momentum and campaign the Government to ensure that action is taken so children on free school meals are given free menstrual provision. Soon. Please sign and share.

Amika George
79,938 supporters
Update posted 22 hours ago

Petition to Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Vince Cable, all party leaders and Parliament

50:50 Parliament want a more gender balanced, representative Parliament. Join us!

In Parliament men outnumber women by more than 2:1, there are 208 women MPs and 442 men. Only 12 extra women were elected to Westminster after the 2017 general election, at this rate it will take 50 years to get a truly equal and representative Parliament. 50:50 aspire to a modern Parliament consisting of around 50% men and 50% women. Our target is clear because what gets measured gets managed. This is a majority issue, women are the majority in life but the minority in Parliament. If Parliament is inaccessible to women many others must and do face hurdles too. One way or another this needs sorting.  If you agree then say so and SIGN.  Let's build a better and more representative democracy together! This is what our petition letter to the party leaders says: "Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Vince Cable, all party leaders and Parliament, We need a more gender balanced House of Commons, around 50:50 men and women. Please collaborate and do something: debate and take action to make Parliament more gender balanced, like life." Our petition is not prescribing the solutions but asking those with the power to take action. This is a historic democratic deficit and institutional imbalance that needs to be addressed. An inclusive, gender balanced Parliament would lead to more responsive and informed decision making, everyone would benefit.  50:50 Parliament also aim to inspire, support and encourage political participation with our #AskHerToStand campaign. Let's get 117 more women to Westminster at the next election. If you know a woman who would make a good MP then ask her to stand, 50:50 is here to help, see http://www.5050parliament.co.uk/askhertostand/.  All political parties agree that a gender balanced Parliament would be better, see this video clip here, so SIGN to ask for action. For more information and to join 50:50 go to www.5050Parliament.co.uk. 50:50 Parliament is an inclusive, cross party, non-partisan campaign. To read more about why this matters and the many solutions see the 50:50 Parliament submission to the Women and Equalities Select Committee Inquiry here. Only 325 women MPs are needed for a 50:50 Parliament which amounts to 1 in every 100,000 women which is great, because clearly politics might not appeal to everyone, but it might suit 1 in 100,000 women and our country needs them.  Two comments on the petition say it all: Helen "Apart from the obvious injustice we are in no position to under-utilise so much talent”- Helen, “If the institution of Parliament discourages women to participate, it is the institution that needs to change.” – Malcolm. Add your voice and make a comment on the 50:50 petition. Join us in asking for action concerning this pressing democratic issue. Thank you. Frances, Sadaf, Brian, Tina, Charlie and Nathalie #5050Parliament Team 50:50 Key Links: For more information see www.5050Parliament.co.uk 50:50 submission to Women & Equalities Select Committee Become a 50:50 Ambassador - fill in the form online Stand to become an MP! 50:50 want to support you see #AskHerToStand Like - facebook.com/5050Parliament Follow on Twitter - @5050Parliament See 50:50 Films  - 50:50 Parliament on YouTube Buy campaign merch at - 50:50 Parliament Shop 50:50 in the News: Parliament agrees there is a "serious democratic deficit" and #5050Parliament says "There are some great women out there, so let’s start asking them to stand" The Guardian The Guardian reports on launch of #5050Parliament #AskHerToStand campaign "Gender parity among MPs at risk of stalling, say women's groups" Cathy Newman, Channel 4 News supports #5050Parliament in The Telegraph 50:50 Parliament in Marie Claire #IWD2016 50:50 Parliament profiled in The Telegraph, 50:50 Parliament - Huffington Post, Evening Standard The Guardian 50:50 Parliament - Star on Parliamentary TV at Women & Equalities Committee Oral Evidence Session #StripTees 50:50 Key Blogs: Women our Parliament Still Needs You Following in the Footsteps of Fawcett Gender Equality is a Human Right, so Women Need More Seats in Parliament! Family Friendly Parliament Tax on Tampons Is the Tip of the Iceberg Obama says Tampon Tax Is Because ‘Men Were Making the Laws’ Carey Mulligan Demonstrates Support for 50:50Parliament at the Premier of 'Suffragette' 50:50 Films: 50:50 Ambassadors Campaign Video Carey Mulligan supporting 50:50 Parliament at Suffragette Premier & Sisters Uncut Demo Paloma Faith Supporting 50:50 Parliament Gemma Arterton Supporting 50:50 Parliament MPs Supporting #5050Parliament Campaign #5050Parliament at Feminism in London 2015 #5050Parliament at WOW Festival 2015

Frances Scott and the 50:50 Parliament Team
52,008 supporters
This petition won 2 years ago

Petition to Philip Hammond MP, Theresa May MP

Stop taxing periods. Period. #EndTamponTax

The Treasury vowed to axe the outdated and overtly sexist tax on tampons, sanitary pads and mooncups in January 2016. By March we made history when Parliament accepted a tampon-tax-ending amendment proposed by the amazing Paula Sherriff MP. Following Brexit complications, this amendment will be implemented by April 2018 at the very latest. That sucks. But we're on it! We've launched a new project called 'Period Watch' to keep an eye on the Government and SMASH the period taboo in the meantime! David Cameron accepted that removing sanitary tax will be "very difficult to do but I'll have to go away and have a look and come back to you”. Well Mr Cameron, it’s time for a response. We need to know why the Government still taxes sanitary products on luxurious, “non-essential” grounds, but not helicopters, the maintenance of our private jets, or crocodile steaks. Even President Obama has coined the tax 'shocking' and 'unfair'. If you value the functioning of those who menstruate at least as much as you enjoy your flying crocodile Fridays then sign our petition and join our campaign. Help to put an end to the marginalisation of issues traditionally associated with women by demanding a zero tax rate for sanitary products. Periods are no luxury. You can ‘opt-in’ to extravagance. You cannot choose to menstruate. Despite this, a whole heap of disadvantages have been created for those who do. Not using sanitary products can lead to health risks, jeopardise maintaining a normal, professional or personal life, and result in public ridicule. Equally, by using sanitary products, our Government capitalises on misogynist discourse and period shame that has caused us to fear our own menstrual cycles. It’s a double-edged sword that cuts women on both sides. Tax allocations should expose the needs of society as a whole, and the needs of those who menstruate as well as those who don’t. Because we care about these people, this campaign was made in support of tax allocations representing them and reflecting something that is vital. George Osborne, sanitary products should join your list of essential, tax exempt products, which include “helicopters” (and “aircraft repair and maintenance”), “alcoholic jellies” and “exotic meats including crocodile and kangaroo”. While we can live without flying our own private helicopters, we cannot live without the public participation of those who menstruate, which is dependent upon the accessibility of sanitary products. We hope you support and join our campaign! Laura Find us on Facebook or Twitter for more information. We would love to hear form you. #EndTamponTax Stop taxing periods around the world, and join our sister campaigns! Active campaigns:Australia: http://goo.gl/AcHazaFrance: http://goo.gl/vp8v6MGermany: https://goo.gl/AOZdVMHomeless shelters: http://thehomelessperiod.comItaly: https://goo.gl/ZqEhQLMalaysia: http://goo.gl/50BRJsSouth Africa: https://goo.gl/O0TtILUnited States of America: https://www.change.org/p/u-s-state-legislators-stop-taxing-our-periods-periodThe World: http://goo.gl/QPlwer SUCCESSFUL campaigns:Canada: http://goo.gl/icmA9x News Coverage:The BBC: http://goo.gl/NyJH5yITV News: http://goo.gl/yDeJfMThe Guardian: http://goo.gl/lDWFMPThe Independent: http://goo.gl/G10lavThe Telegraph: http://bit.ly/1lzUaOp and http://goo.gl/t4QXFm and http://goo.gl/nf6Tdn The NewStatesman: http://goo.gl/UanXlI Marie Claire Magazine: May issue 2015 and http://goo.gl/l0CW8BGlamour Magazine: http://goo.gl/RzBul1Cosmopolitan: http://goo.gl/Pe3JVHDazed and Confused: http://goo.gl/mKxsvZHuffington Post: huff.to/1DbXWZx The Fabian Society: http://bit.ly/1pGujbnThe Daily Mash: http://goo.gl/YzBNpEBuzzfeed: http://goo.gl/lFkMid and http://goo.gl/Ls6LB9 and http://goo.gl/yaNj54The Mirror: http://goo.gl/kagtrHThe Metro: http://goo.gl/juX2vNYahoo: http://bit.ly/1nA1Y2jThe Female Lead: goo.gl/HYM0yD Politics Home: http://goo.gl/bNd1L8Bad Housekeeping: http://bit.ly/XLnuMrVocativ: http://bit.ly/V4wQkS Women's Views on News: http://bit.ly/1uw0xYkBristol Women's Voice: http://bit.ly/1oMnS7jIndependent projects: http://www.luxuriouslytaxable.com/ Extra information:After the UK joined the Common Market in 1973, a 17.5% sanitary tax was introduced. It was justified when Parliament classified sanitary products as “non-essential, luxury” items. After years of hard work, in 2000 Labour MP Dawn Primarolo (who we are working closely with on this campaign) announced that during the following year sanitary tax would be reduced to 5%. She explained the reduction was “about fairness, and doing what we can to lower the cost of a necessity”. EU law has prevented sanitary products from escaping tax entirely. Following the Union’s decision to standardise tax across the continent, no separate member state can revise VAT allocations without the EU’s permission. For this reason, hopefully with the backing of Westminster, we hope to convince the European Parliament that this is an important issue worth revising, too.

Laura Coryton
320,089 supporters