Dear Labour Party: Please consult ordinary women

Dear Labour Party

Several Labour Party women have written that they support the inclusion of male-born people in programmes intended to advance female leadership, if they identify as women (see below). They’ve already benefited from such a scheme, but it feels that organisations are deaf to the majority concerns of women. Should much-needed opportunities for females be offered instead to male-born transgender candidates? The Labour Party has been asked to reconsider.

This letter has 121 signatures, plus over 200 agreements on this Mumsnet thread.

Dear Labour Party,

We are ordinary women, some of us Labour Party members, the rest of us potential Labour Party voters. We know that sexism and sexist messages received from birth mean we are less likely to push ourselves forward, to be listened to, to take the lead and have belief in our abilities, especially in a male-dominated sphere such as politics. Whatever our differences, this is an experience that unites women in society and is exactly why the Jo Cox Women in Leadership programme is needed – to bolster self-esteem and confidence and work towards building a toolkit in preparation for political life.

The Labour Party and Labour Women’s Network, in association with the Jo Cox Foundation, have decided not to invoke Equality Act 2010 exemptions which would permit the Jo Cox Women in Leadership Programme to offer the programme to female participants only. We understand that graduates will feel a loyalty to the programme and its decisions. We hope they also feel a responsibility to reflect the diversity of women’s opinions in the party and wider society, and will use their leadership roles to ensure women are consulted about the things that affect us, whether Conservative Party proposals to review the Gender Recognition Act or Labour Party mechanisms to increase women’s participation in political life.

Emma Salmon – Fair Play for Women /ex Vice Chair Bexhill and Battle CLP
Judith Green – Woman’s Place UK/ Cambridge CLP / RCM rep
Jacky Holyoake – Women’s Officer Halesowen and Regis CLP
Nicola Williams – Fair Play for Women
Stephanie Davies-Arai – Transgender Trend
Cherry Austin – Fair Play for Women founder / Unite/ North Herefordshire CLP
Jane Galloway – Fair Play for Women / Sidcup CLP / Unison
Anne Ruzylo – ex Women’s Officer Bexhill and Battle CLP
Jill Murphy – Tiverton and Honiton CLP
Ruth Cherry – Unite
Venice Allen – Lewisham & Deptford CLP
Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull –
Lowri Daniels – Streatham CLP
Jo Green – UCU
Karen Kruzycha – Romford CLP
Jen Donkin Gourley – Labour member
Jan Oliver – Enfield North CLP
Gina Richardson – Bexhill and Battle CLP
Julia Richards-Davies – Hornsey and Wood Green CLP
Sarah Haughey – Stretford Branch
Kirsty O’Hara – Stockton North CLP
Alex Porter – Dulwich and South Norwood CLP
Amanda Gosling – Canterbury and Whitstable CLP
Kay Green – Hastings and Rye CLP
E. Parker – Labour member
Catherine Dawson – Exeter CLP
Joanne Jonathan – Cardif North CLP and RCN rep
Emma Flynn – Labour member
Maggie Wellington – Stretford and Urmston CLP
Bronwyn Davies – Cardif North CLP
Helena Wojtczac – Hastings and Rye CLP
Matesa McKeefery – Rossendale and Darwin CLP
Jo Bartosch – Gloucester CLP
Sinead Connolly – Gosport CLP
Dr Laura Noszlopy – Shrewsbury and Atcham CLP
Eleanor Hill – Cardiff West CLP
Steph Cosson – Rochdale CLP
Melissa Mallows – Wantage CLP
Josephine Liptrott – Ealing Central and Action CLP
Jess Goldie – ex officio – Bury North CLP
Kate Meller Beaumont – Sutton Coldfield CLP
Hannah Carter – NUJ
Diane Vine – Bournemouth West CLP
Beth Aze – Women’s officer Stretford and Urmston CLP
Louise Brown – Labour
Cathy Love – Ilford South CLP
Katherine Brierly – Adur and Worthing CLP
Kiri Tunks – Walthamstow Central
Jackie Mearns – Unison
Cathy Boardman – Labour member
Marion Calder – Unison
Julia Clare – NUS
Natalie Holland – NUS
Caroline Barnard ex Mid-Norfolk CLP
Emma Wilkes Stalybridge and Hyde CLP
Sarah Johnson – Cambridge CLP
Paula Lamont – Hackney South and Shoreditch CLP / BECTU
Beth Millar
Lucy Brown
Chloe Reed, Durham
C.M Slavidou
C. Williams
Nicola Gallie
Jean Hogan, Hertfordshire
Jeni England
Kelly Power, London
Roz Hathaway, Oxford
Linda O’Sullivan
Hannah Tahir
Sheena Best
Sarah Westbury
Jemma Louise
Rhonda Thompson
Amanda Whyte
Charlotte Edwards
Tamsin Meriel
Claire Russel
Cushla Brennan
Mary Mulligan
Louise Robinson
Katheryn Congdon
Clare Kerr
Sarah Cummings
Ali Ceesay
Wendy Lisa Gibbons
Darleen Jones
Anna Fisher
Jennifer Wilson
Natasha Parys, Kent
Jeni Harvey
Maggi Gibson
Grace O’Malley
Rachael Rowe
Sarah Bellabarba
Jessica Eaton
Helen Saxby
Claire Fenner
Julie Deakin
Suzie Ivins
Lily Floyd
Kath Ball
Karen Goode
Susan Perry
Frances Gillard
Rebecca Harrison
Jenny Nicholas Knaggs
Kim Harding
D Fielder
Sarah Ferguson
Nicola Kerry
Andrea Thomas
Jillian McCormick
Felicity Thorpe-Tracey
Rebecca Lush
In solidarity:

Miranda Yardley
Andy Cooper, Essex
Julian Vigo
Ophelia Benson
Jennifer Chavez
Michael Murphey – Tiverton and Honiton CLP
Imogen Saiz

And the many other women who have added their support via Mumsnet:

The letter welcoming trans-identified males in schemes for women: