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WEBCHAT GUIDELINES: 1. One question per member plus one follow-up. 2. Keep your question brief. 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. 5. If one topic or question threatens to overwhelm the webchat, MNHQ will usually ask for people to stop repeating the same question or point.

MNHQ have commented on this thread

Webchat about women/mums in politics with Stella Creasy and Caroline Nokes - 1st February

259 replies

JuliaMumsnet · 31/01/2022 09:37

Hello,

We're delighted to announce a webchat on the 1st February, from 12.30 to 1.30pm with Caroline Nokes MP and Stella Creasy MP about women and mothers in politics. We know that women - and particularly mums - are underrepresented in politics, and that the makeup of those walking the corridors of power affects the decisions that are made. The webchat is part of the work we’re doing to explore the barriers for women and mums and see what can be done to encourage more of them to get involved.

Caroline Nokes is the conservative party MP for Romsey and Southampton North and the current Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee in Parliament, where she is leading an inquiry into menopause in the workplace. Since her election in 2010 she has served as a Minister in the Department for Work and Pensions, the Cabinet Office and was Minister of State for Immigration in Theresa May’s Cabinet.

Stella Creasy is the Labour and Co-operative MP for Walthamstow in North East London. She’s worked on legal loan sharks, legalising abortion in Northern Ireland, to tackle tax evasion and the impact of the private sector on the NHS and for stronger action on violence against women and girls. Following the birth of her first child in 2019, she became the first MP to appoint a locum while she took maternity leave.

Please join us here on Tuesday 1st February at 12.30pm. If you can’t join us on the day, please leave your question here in advance.

As always, please remember our webchat guidelines - one question per user, follow-ups only if there’s time and most questions have been answered, and please keep it civil. Also if one topic is dominating a thread, mods might request that people don't continue to post what's effectively the same question or point. (We may suspend the accounts of anyone who continues after we've posted to ask people to stop, so please take note.) Rest assured we will ALWAYS let the guest know that it's an area of concern to multiple users and will encourage them to engage with those questions.

Many thanks,
MNHQ

Webchat about women/mums in politics with Stella Creasy and Caroline Nokes - 1st February
Webchat about women/mums in politics with Stella Creasy and Caroline Nokes - 1st February
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FOJN · 31/01/2022 12:06

Do you think the treatment of MP's such as Rosie Duffield and Joanna Cherry, by their own parties, will put some women off standing for political office?

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RoyalCorgi · 31/01/2022 12:08

What is a woman?

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Thelnebriati · 31/01/2022 12:15

There are multiple barriers to women entering politics and they haven't changed for decades;

  • caring responsibilities.
  • finances, not just being on a low income, or having to manage 2 or 3 jobs while trying to juggle childcare; but also risking your entitlement to benefits. Especially if you are disabled. The argument goes that if you are capable of doing X activity, your disability can't be that bad.
  • Rampant sex based misogyny within political parties at both local and national level.
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vivariumvivariumsvivaria · 31/01/2022 12:29

How have you managed to deal with the personal comments about your appearance and, well, everything?

I could be a good politician, but I see what happens to women who do stand for office - and it doesn't look like it's very nice.

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Iknowitisheresomewhere · 31/01/2022 12:32

Do you think that women-only shortlists should include transwomen without a Gender Recognition Certificate (that is, include someone born male who is legally a man)?

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justaftb · 31/01/2022 12:35

Should males be included in women-only shortlists?

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PearPickingPorky · 31/01/2022 12:37

If only women in Parliament weren't female, then it would be so much easier.

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justaftb · 31/01/2022 12:39

Question for Stella: I have always voted Labour and have been a Labour Party member in the past. I feel I can no longer vote for or support Labour given that Labour does not seem to know what a woman is.

Can Stella allay my fear that Labour will not protect women's sex-based rights if they achieve a majority in parliament?

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ChazsBrilliantAttitude · 31/01/2022 13:03

Should male bodied people be in women’s prisons?

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senua · 31/01/2022 13:06

Also if one topic is dominating a thread, mods might request that people don't continue to post what's effectively the same question or point. (We may suspend the accounts of anyone who continues after we've posted to ask people to stop, so please take note.)
I might as well get in now.
Before we discuss the role of "women/mums", can we agree a definition of a woman (preferable answer: adult female human). Could both SC and CN answer, please.

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alreadytaken · 31/01/2022 13:43

Should the police be checking women's thinking?

Should stickers promoting violence against gender critical women be removed.

How can any intelligent woman deny reality by supporting TWAW.

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TedsFederationRep · 31/01/2022 14:27

How do you define "gender"?

Do you understand why so many women believe that any parliamentary bill that includes the phrase "sex or gender" is actually doing the job of trying to remove or deny our sex-based rights?

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PronounssheRa · 31/01/2022 14:55

Do you agree that the failure of the Labour Party and its leaders to provide support to Rosie Duffield when she has faced years of abuse, threats and libellous accusations will turn women away from politics?

What can be done to tackle misogyny in politics when Party leaders seemingly turn a blind eye.

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IcakethereforeIam · 31/01/2022 14:57

Would you have been happy calling the Queenmother the Queenbirthgiver? If not why should it be applied to any other menstruator (including, but not limited to, former and potential menstruators), or, for the sake of brevity, woman?

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MoonlitWillow · 31/01/2022 15:15

Thanks for this - really important and interesting!

I remember a woman politician once saying something like 'it is only once men take equal part in the care and rearing of children that people will stop associated female leaders with being a child again' (it was better worded - if someone else can remember it, please write it here). I thought it was so interesting and made sense to me as to why so many people clearly just find it so uncomfortable to have female leaders/women in power.

What do you think? Thank you for your thoughts!

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RepentMotherfucker · 31/01/2022 15:21

@RoyalCorgi

What is a woman?

I can't see how any conversation can take place until this one is answered.

Without using the word you're defining. Obviously.

We'll have 'mums' defined as well I think. Just easier that way? (Nice homey little bit of vocab you've chosen for us there by the way. Not feeling at all patronised...)
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Redshoeblueshoe · 31/01/2022 15:41

Sorry to be so boring, but What is a woman ?
If you respect my sex you won't get my X

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Ereshkigalangcleg · 31/01/2022 15:41

Hi Caroline and Stella, an important issue for women in politics:

Author JK Rowling was recently quoted as saying "we're living through the most misogynistic period I've experienced". Do you think that's true and what do you think we can do about it?

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Glenthebattleostrich · 31/01/2022 15:44

Stella - Why has Labour not had a female leader? Is it the rampant mysogyny within the party (one of the reasons I resigned my membership long before they made fools of themselves over the trans issue) or do you think female labour MPs just aren't good enough?

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DownWhichOfLate · 31/01/2022 16:03

Oh fantastic. I’d like to ask Caroline how she would define a woman. As others have said - this whole webchat can’t really start until that is clarified as other questions would then have to be modified according to what actually is a woman. Thanks.

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ADisgruntledPelican · 31/01/2022 16:18

I know women from every party who have been keen campaigners and considered standing but they are appalled at the current climate. There are two issues that dominate our conversations. One has already been covered upthread regarding the definitions of women. The other is the unchecked misogyny and violent threats against women especially on social media.

How do you aim to restore women's faith that they will be protected from violence and threats when political parties won't even uphold the fact that sex is a protected characteristic and that women are legally entitled to single-sex spaces?

And, just to sneak in another question in case you have time, how do you propose to legislate for the Meta-verse to ensure women and children are protected because it is already proving to be a misogynists', perverts' and abusers' paradise?

Women and mums aren't going to enter politics as long as current MPs pretend they can't see the growth in misogyny, the daily threats and the exponential rise in abuse against women. Being an MP is a privileged position. Denying the reality of women's lives just shows how out-of-touch MPs can be.

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Alltheprettyseahorses · 31/01/2022 16:23

Maternity leave is a hard-won right and is also essential for the recovery of the mother. How on earth is seeing a mother working in parliament with her 3 month old baby strapped to her supposed to encourage women into politics? It is not acceptable in a civilised society.

(and adding to the chorus, if you don't respect my sex you won't get my x. I am tired of being patronised and treated like an unreasonable nagging wife when a certain sector of politics has utterly lost its mind, just look at yourselves!)

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GuidingSpirit · 31/01/2022 16:41

My husband's paternity leave had finished before my baby had even left the NICU / SCBU. Do you agree that better paternity leave provision for fathers (not just the failed policy of shared parental leave) would shift expectations, thereby making it easier for women to work in all professions, including politics? When will the UK catch up with eg. Scandi countries when it comes to paternity leave?

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purpleboy · 31/01/2022 16:56

How do you intend to encourage women to enter politics if you can't describe what a woman is?

The way I see it, when MPs are unable to accurately describe what a women is then how can we encourage women into politics. The lines are blurred and if trans people want to enter politics they should be encouraged to do so, but in their own trans category. If you are truly looking to include more women in politics, then they have to be biological women.

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EmpressaurusWitchDoesntBurn · 31/01/2022 17:08

In response to a question at a Fawcett Society / 50-50 Parliament event, Sal Brinton of the Lib Dems stated that she would be happy with an all-male Parliament if half of them identified as women. Do you agree and if not, why not?

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