Picture: Celebrating the life of Emmeline Pankhurst alongside fellow members of the Conservative Women's Organisation.
Discrimination on grounds of gender constitutes a violation of human dignity, as well imposing artificial limits on the vigour, creativity and richness of national life. One of the many privileges of serving as a Member of Parliament is the ability to tackle this discrimination, and to encourage women in all walks of life to fulfill their potential.
I spend a lot of time working with the Conservative Women's Organisation, Women2Win, and other similar groups, to encourage women to get involved in politics and to stand for election. In Spring 2014 I completed a tour across the country to meet with female activists to listen to their experiences, and to spell out how essential it is that more women to stand for political office. As a member of the Conservative Women’s Forum I took part in 2012 in their inquiry into Executive Women in the Workplace, there results of which can be found here. I am currently working with fellow members of the All Party Parliamentry Group for Women in Parliament on an inquiry into women in public life.
In Cornwall I am a keen support of the Springboard project, which supports women to build thier careers.
As a Conservative I believe that the past can nourish and strengthen our efforts to build a better future. As we look to build a truly gender equal society in the UK we should honour what has been achieved to date. I am therefore supporter of the campaign for an iconic visual reminder of the ongoing campaign for equality, in the form of a Parliamentary statue of Emily Davidson, the suffragette who died for her cause in 1913. In remembering Emily’s sacrifice we reflect on how far we have come, the benefits this increased equality has brought us, and what more we can achieve. I hope that a statue for Emily can be secured and am proud to have played a part in 2013 in commemorating the centenary of her death.