Islington Labour councillors have welcomed the announcement that Islington Council will create a Women and Girls Champion.
The new Women and Girls Champion will be a councillor responsible for working to highlight what more can be done to ensure the rights of women and girls are protected. They will ensure services are designed to support women and girls, and champion work to end violence against them.
The announcement was made at a Council event to mark International Women’s Day (8th March), to celebrate the immense contribution of women to Islington. Islington Labour councillors, community representatives and local people heard from a wide range of speakers about the challenges facing women and girls in the UK today.
Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Executive Member for Community Development, said: “Islington Labour is committed to creating a fairer borough for all, where every woman and girl feels safe and has the opportunity to thrive. By creating a Women and Girls Champion, we can ensure that their voices are heard and that action follows.
“I am proud that Islington Labour is protecting and supporting services that make a big difference to women and girls. We have kept open all of our children’s centres, libraries and refuges for women. Our targeted employment services also play a vital role in helping mothers, and other longer-term unemployed people, back into work.
“However, we know there is still plenty to be done to achieve meaningful equality for women. The Women and Girls Champion will help us achieve this in Islington.”
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Press for Progress’. Despite the progress that has been made 100 years since some women first won the right to vote, women and girls in Islington still face many challenges today; including domestic violence, sexual harassment and pay inequality. Universal movements such as the #MeToo campaign show that there is still a long way to go before all women and girls achieve real equality.
Islington Labour’s announcement to create a Women and Girls Champion has been inspired by Plan International UK, whose ‘The State of Girls’ Rights in the UK’ report recommended Girls Champions be appointed at local level to support girls to tackle injustices facing them in the UK. Islington Labour has taken this one step further by announcing it will create a Women and Girls Champion.
The Women and Girls Champion will be appointed in May.
Pictured – Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz with Plan International UK, NatCen, Islington Play Association and All Change representatives at Islington Council’s International Women’s Day event.