Monmouth CLP Women's Forum
Summer away day event
On their summer awayday at Bridges Community Centre, Monmouth, members of the Labour Women’s forum discussed a variety of issues on the theme of maximising their contribution to their communities and their party.
The meeting started with a presentation from Harriet Protheroe-Davis of Hope not Hate who led a workshop session on ways of overcoming intolerance and prejudice. She said: “Don’t square up to people who express narrow-minded or bigoted opinions. It’s far better to try to influence them by building a human connections. It can be quite powerful to simply ask questions and listen.”
Later in the day, group members discussed ways of building their confidence and how to maximise their contribution to their communities, both in public office, and in the Labour movement. Amanda Peters said “Tough decisions about vital local public services are all too often made by a group of people who bear little resemblance those who receive those services. Now is the time for women to step up: your communities need you!”
The meeting concluded with group exercises identifying the next steps in building women’s capacity to take lead roles in the Labour party and how to pool their ideas and talents. They gathered their thoughts under the headings of knowledge, confidence, skills and networks.
At the end of the event, Women’s Officer Penny Simcock said: “Everyone agreed that today is the start of an exciting new era in women’s involvement in local politics. There will be more events like this and I encourage all women to join up and join in.”
Setting up Monmouth CLP’s Women’s Forum
In May 2016 I took over as Monmouth CLP Women’s Officer from Christine Walby. We owe a debt of thanks to Christine whose valuable work in the CLP over many years is much appreciated.
On 15 December 2016, I presented our Draft Terms of Reference and 2017 Action Plan for the Monmouth CPL Women’s Forum to Monmouth CLP’s Executive Committee. The Executive Committee strongly support the purpose of Labour Women’s Forums, endorsed the Terms of Reference and Action Plan and awarded a generous start up grant to the new Monmouth CLP Women’s Forum.
In the last few months Monmouth CLP women members have identified many ways in which to assist women in the community and to enable Labour women to become more involved. Here are some of the actions suggested:
- Mentor and support women who want to stand for election.
- Help members to learn more about how the Labour Party works
- Promote gender equality
- Engage new members in Labour Party activities
- Support women who want to become involved in canvassing but have no experience
- Signpost women in unpaid caring work to training and support
- Campaign on issues important to women (against zero hour contracts, for a living wage and for more child care provision)
- Campaign against violence against women
- Organise projects around befriending and mental health
- Organise self-defence and assertiveness classes
- Listen to the concerns and needs of women in the community
- Information about Monmouth CLP’s Women’s Groups
Please contact Penny Simcock for information.