Tory leader must u-turn on austerity policies that harm women most
Harriet Harmon, former deputy leader and interim leader of the Labour Party, has offered her congratulations to Theresa May and warned that ‘it’s not good enough to just be a woman Prime Minister.’
‘The real question is, what will she do for women in this country?’ Harman said in an interview with talkRADIO this afternoon.
She went on to criticise the Conservatives’ austerity policies, which have hit women hardest, and called on May to start turning those policies around.
“I think there are many things that she needs to start U-turning on, which this government has made women suffer from. For example all the cuts in social care – women care for elderly relatives and it’s made their lives much harder that the social care services are few and far between.
They’ve closed children’s centres all around the country. She should U-turn on that and open those centres up because it’s mostly women who are looking after young children as well as holding down a job and they need to be sure that they’ve got affordable and accessible childcare.
She also called on May to make sure that resources are available to tackle violence against women at home and abroad, and said that the new prime minister ‘needs to have fifty per cent of her cabinet be women and fifty per cent of all her ministers.’
“And if she does that, it will be more than just having a woman in Downing Street, it will actually be a woman who’s advanced things for other women.”
Despite taking a tough line on May’s responsibilities, Harman — who has been a leading advocate for gender equality in Labour — did offer her congratulations:
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“She’s only the second woman in our history to become our Prime Minister and she’s beaten the overwhelming majority of Tory MPs who are men to get to the top job.
And that is important because it’s more difficult for people to say to girls or women, ‘You can’t do this because you’re a woman’ because the person at the top of the country, the Prime Minister, is a woman.”
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