Women’s Equality Party to contest seats in London, Manchester and Cardiff

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The Women’s Equality Party announced yesterday that four more candidates who will contest seats in the snap General Election on 8 June.

In London, Nimco Ali will stand in Hornsey and Wood Green and Harini Iyengar will stand in Vauxhall. Sharon Lovell will contest the Wales seat of Cardiff South and Penarth, while Sally Carr MBE will stand in the constituency of Manchester Withington.

“These brilliant women represent the diverse, creative voices of the Women’s Equality Party and I am delighted to announce their candidacy,” said Party Leader Sophie Walker. “This election they will speed change, by campaigning for equality, justice and tolerance across the UK as part of the national conversation about the general election.”

Nimco Ali is a British Somali feminist and social activist. She is co-founder and director of Daughters of Eve, a survivor-led organisation which has helped to transform the approach to ending female genital mutilation (FGM).

Harini Iyengar is ranked as a leading barrister in Employment, Equality and Education, gave expert legal evidence to the House of Commons Inquiry into high heels and workplace dress codes, and has been described by the Times as “a leading campaigner for diversity in the legal profession.”

Sally Carr is former Principal Programme Manager for Young People’s Health at Manchester PCT, Deputy Head of Service at Halton Youth Service and Operational Director at The Proud Trust. In 2012 she was awarded an MBE for her services to young people, recognising in particular her work with LGBT+ youth.

Sharon Lovell, the first woman in her family to go to university and gain a degree, is a Director for Nyas, a UK charity providing information, advice, advocacy and legal representation to children, young people and vulnerable adults.

Walker said that each candidate would be fighting to win in their respective constituency, but would also be pressuring their rivals to take on their policies. “The new parties understand that the electorate are tired of combative, tribal politics. Along with the Green Party, who have endorsed my campaign in Shipley, and the Liberal Democrats who are forging strategic alliances in key seats across the UK, WE are part of a new political landscape that will deliver a shot in the arm to our country by working collaboratively and sharing ideas.”

She added: “We know we are outsiders, but in spite of the huge disadvantages of our first-past-the-post system, and the vast expense of campaigning, the Women’s Equality Party is set to make its mark on this election.”

The Women’s Equality Party will announce further candidates next week.

Editor’s notes

The Women’s Equality Party have announced the following candidates:

Sophie Walker, Shipley

Sophie Walker is the leader of the Women’s Equality Party. She worked as an international news agency journalist for nearly twenty years and is an ambassador for the National Autistic Society, campaigning for better support and understanding of autism, particularly in women and girls. Sophie was elected leader of the Women’s Equality Party in July 2015, and in January 2016 was selected to represent the party in the London Mayoral election. She garnered one in twenty of the votes cast for Mayor in London on 5 May.

Nimco Ali, Hornsey and Wood Green

Nimco is a British Somali feminist and social activist. She is co-founder and director of Daughters of Eve, a survivor-led organisation which has helped to transform the approach to ending female genital mutilation (FGM). Nimco formerly worked on ‘The Girl Generation: Together to End FGM’ campaign, which celebrates the Africa-led movement to end FGM in one generation. Currently she is an ambassador for #MAKERSUK. MAKERS is AOL’s women’s leadership platform that highlights the stories of ground-breaking women today to create the leaders of tomorrow. In 2014, she was awarded Red Magazine’s Woman of the Year award, and also placed at No 6 on the Woman’s Hour Power List. Most recently she was named by The Sunday Times as one of Debrett’s 500 most influential people in Britain, and as one of the Evening Standard’s 1000 most powerful. Nimco is a trustee for Women for Refugee Women and the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize and is a founding member and Steering Committee member of the Women’s Equality Party.

Harini Iyengar, Vauxhall

Harini Iyengar grew up in Manchester, where her immigrant parents were both NHS doctors.  She went to Manchester High School for Girls, where all the Pankhurst daughters were educated, as was WEP co-founder Catherine Mayer. She studied at Oxford University before moving to London, where she was called to the Bar in 1999.  She is ranked as a leading barrister in Employment, Equality and Education, gave expert legal evidence to the House of Commons Inquiry into high heels and workplace dress codes, and has been described by the Times as “a leading campaigner for diversity in the legal profession”.  She works full-time and raises three children as their lone parent.  Harini stood for the Women’s Equality Party in the Greater London Assembly elections in May 2016, and at their first party conference in November 2016 she was elected to Policy Committee as Spokesperson on Equal Representation.

Sally Carr MBE, Manchester Withington

Sally completed her certificate in Youth and Community work at Manchester Polytechnic in 1989 and returned to MMU in 2000 to do her BA Hons in Youth and Community work.

She has worked in various roles including Principal Programme Manager for Young People’s Health at Manchester PCT, Deputy Head of Service at Halton Youth Service and Operational Director at The Proud Trust. In 2012 she was awarded an MBE for her services to young people, recognising in particular her work with LGBT+ youth.

Sharon Lovell, Cardiff South and Penarth

Sharon was born in Wales and raised, along with her two siblings, by her working mum. She was the first woman in her family to go to university and gain a degree. She is passionate about empowering women to have opportunities and access to help shape the future of Wales. Having lived and worked in Wales all her life, she is now Director for Nyas, a UK charity providing information, advice, advocacy and legal representation to children, young people and vulnerable adults. Sharon, who lives in Newport, stood for the Women’s Equality Party in the Welsh Assembly elections in May 2016.

The Women’s Equality Party was established two years ago to highlight and dismantle obstacles to gender equality in the UK: a political and economic architecture rigged against women and diversity, an education system riven with unconscious bias and gender stereotyping, a media that reinforces these stereotypes, a society that assigns little value to caregiving and therefore assumes it to be women’s business, that underpays women and invests less in women’s health and permits endemic harassment and violence against women.

In May 2016 the party won 350,000 votes in elections across Scotland, Wales and London.

The Party is currently contesting the Liverpool Metro Mayor election and local elections in Sheffield, Tunbridge Wells, South Wales and Worcester.

The Party currently has 65,000 members and registered supporters. It aims to put equality for women at the top of the national political agenda by being an electoral force that also works with other political parties; in addition to party membership it also offers joint memberships to members of other political parties.

Press enquiries to Catherine Riley, Head of Communications (catherine.riley@womensequality.org.uk/ +447764 752 731).

Press at Women’s Equality Party

http://www.womensequality.org.uk/

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