Apparently, women aged between 18 and 24 are the least likely to vote in the coming election. But why is this?
Only 39% of young women voted in the last general election, compared to 50% of men in the same age group. When I read statistics like that, my immediate thought is, what the hell did those women fight for all those years ago? Equality is not quite a reality just yet – from the No More Page 3 campaign to the pay gap, from catcalling to victim blaming, women still have many issues they need to fight against, and rights they need to fight for. In order to feel represented, women need to stand up and be counted.
#XXVote ran a campaign to increase awareness of the upcoming general election. They wanted everyone, young women in particular, to ensure they were registered to vote (the deadline for this has passed, so if you missed it, shame on you). But why is a campaign like this necessary? Didn’t the Suffragists get their point across well enough? Women deserve the right to vote, now we have the right to vote, so we should use our right to vote. Pretty simple, right?
Why anyone would pass on their right to vote is beyond me. Does the cost of housing not affect you? Does the risk of unemployment completely pass you by? Are you, by some miracle, completely incapable of being affected by a flood? Despite my sarcasm, I honestly want you to consider such points, and others, and ask yourself, which political party best represents my interests?
Over the past few days, I’ve painstakingly read the manifestos of the main parties, trying to pick out policies I wholly agree with (and suppress my anger at many others). Despite knowing who I don’t want to win, I’m not into tactical voting, so I’ll be voting for the party that I believe in. Among other things, I’m passionate about affordable housing, a living wage, equality for all, the NHS, closing the pay gap, and cheaper public transport. And so, I found myself nodding along throughout the Green Party’s manifesto. But the purpose of this blog post isn’t to encourage people to vote for who I’m voting for. It’s simply to encourage people to vote.
Nobody can know for sure what will happen, whether the politicians will keep their promises or completely fuck us over. But it’s worth a go, don’t you think?
In case you weren’t aware, voting day is Thursday 7th May.