Lynne Featherstone is a Liberal Democrat MP who works as the champion for International Violence Against Woman and Girls, fighting against violence and providing support to women who have suffered domestic violence, rape or other abuse.
Describe yourself in 5 words:
Human, independent, determined, kind, non-conformist.
How do you shake up female clichés in your daily life (job, family, lifestyle…)?
In my own life - there isn't room for clichés. As a single mother for the last 15 years I work, fight for what I want, and never think about the fact I am a woman in a hitherto man's world. I just do stuff.
What are you especially proud of?
This question is timely as today is International Women’s Day (March 8th), a day when we celebrate women and their unique skills and talents.
One of the things I am most proud of is my role as International Violence Against Women and Girls Champion. This role sees me spearhead the UK Government’s efforts to tackle violence against women and girls overseas. Today, women and girls around the world are still subject to rape, domestic violence and abuse, the scale and true nature of which can often remain hidden. UK has a duty to use its influence across the globe to shine a light on this issue and I am proud to take on responsibility for doing that.
We take the situation at home here in the UK just as seriously. We have just launched an action plan, which outlines how the government will go about tackling violence against women and girls and as part of this we have committed £28 million to front line services.
It’s so important we bring this issue out in the open - increasing awareness, working to prevent it and shifting the attitudes that underpin the violence, as well as helping victims to pick up their lives again. Only then can we put an end to violence against women and girls once and for all.
How do you imagine male and female relations in 20 years?
Well the goal is obviously equal treatment and equal opportunity for everyone and I think that there is a wind of real change blowing here. But we need to keep up the work on tearing down barriers that women face in all areas of their lives - from education to work.
One key aspect of my role and one that I feel privileged to be involved with, involves working with businesses and communities to improve the position and status of women in the workplace, such as tackling pay secrecy and taking positive action in recruitment and promotion.
This is not just equality for equalities sake, it is about making sure that we can use everyone’s talents to full capacity, after all Women make up 51% of the population. Unfortunately gender inequality at work still persists – there is the pay gap itself, the small numbers of women on boards and at senior levels and segregated work – where women’s work is paid less than men’s. By addressing these issues as we are, we will make a happier and fairer society, benefiting the whole of the UK.
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