If you're reading this, there's a high chance you're a woman. Things that are likely once you're a woman? Well, that you might be disappointed. Not only are your tampons taxed at a luxury rate, but 85% of the £26 billion revenue that's been raised from tax and benefit reforms by the Coalition has come from women. Oh, and while the Coalition has been in power? The UK has slipped down the UN's gender equality index from 15 to 26. Then, on the other hand, Labour's been reaching out to women via a pink 'Woman to Woman' van. But what are the parties really promising to do for women? We took a look at their manifestos to find out:
Ending violence against girls and women - there’s a whole mini-chapter on this! Oh, and they'll have a minister who'll undertake this role They want to look for law changes, ‘appoint a commissioner to set minimum standards to tackle domestic and sexual violence’ and give more money to refuges and Rape Crisis Centres.
They will also ban ‘the use of community resolutions as a response to domestic violence’ and they will sort it out so that no longer will ‘people with a history of domestic or sexual violence will not be given an unrestricted license’, which sounds kind of like it’s such a good idea it should have happened already.
Rape suspects will have their DNA recorded and stored and there’ll be better access for women to get legal aid in cases of domestic violence.
‘We will continue to promote women’s rights. We will join with those campaigning to attain gender equality, the eradication of poverty and inclusive economic growth.’
Tackling violence against women - 'We will now work with local authorities, the NHS and Police and Crime Commissioners to ensure a secure future for specialist FGM and forced marriage units, refuges and rape crisis centres.'
They've got loads on women! They will ‘challenge gender stereotyping and early sexualisation, working with schools to promote positive body image and widespread understanding of sexual consent law, and break down outdated perceptions of gender appropriateness of particular academic subjects.' They'll also: ‘Work to end the gender pay gap, including with new rules on gender pay transparency.’ They’ll also support more rape crisis centres and ‘create a national helpline for victims of domestic and sexual violence – regardless of gender – to provide support, encourage reporting and secure more convictions’
And around the world they want to ‘prioritise support, protection and equal rights for women and girls, which is essential for effective, sustainable economic development. We will pursue an International Gender Equality Strategy, work to secure women’s rights to education and freedom from forced marriage; and aim to end female gential mutiliation within a generation.’
The Greens have a lot on women, too. They will ‘work to change attitudes towards rape’, ‘listen to girls and young women about relationships education and about sexism in the media. And about that, they’ll ‘take steps to tackle media sexism, starting with working with retailers to stop lads mags and other pornography from being sold in supermarkets and newsagents.’
Oh, and the laws against you being passed over for a job because you’re pregnant, or might be pregnant will be enforced. And and it’ll be illegal to stop a mother from breastfeeding in public.
They’ll also ‘ensure consistent, long-term funding’ for Rape Crisis Centres across the country, and will ‘work to change attitudes towards rape’
The party will look to clarify what about domestic violence is a criminal offence as part of a wider 'review of commensurate sentencing policy to address the changing nature of crime today'. They will also 'offer direct access to specialist mentla health treatment for pregnant women and mothers of children under 12 months of age' and will look to redress the gender imbalance in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine) subjects at school and university.**
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.