LET’S CELEBRATE OUR ACHIEVEMENTS FOR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!
Cheshire East Council Leader Rachel Bailey comments:
On the eve of International Women’s Day it is timely to reflect on just how far our society has come in such a short space of time.
I became involved in politics 21 years ago as a member of the old Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council before more recently becoming the leader of Cheshire East council. As leader of the council I, alongside my Cabinet, am involved in making decisions which can impact on the lives of residents across the region, juggling financial budgets involving millions.
It’s a tough job and one that at times can be extremely stressful, but one that I love and as a woman feel extremely proud to hold, knowing just how far women have come in both local and national politics, especially as locally we have three female Conservative MPs and nationally have had two women Conservative Prime Ministers.
As girls and women across the world celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March, there are so many incredible achievements this country has been involved in to ensure equal opportunities.
For example, the female employment rate is at a record high, reaching more than 70 per cent at the end of last year.
The gender pay gap is also at a record low and £500,000 of Government funding has also recently been announced to pay for programmes to help vulnerable women back into work, such as those who have suffered from domestic abuse or have mental or physical health issues.
This funding comes on the back of Clare’s Law, the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme which the government introduced so women can check if their partner has a violent history, with the first ever statutory definition of domestic abuse introduced this year in the draft Domestic Violence Bill.
These are all fantastic achievements and here at Cheshire East we are also leading the way to ensure equality across the council, while every woman who lives in the region has every opportunity available to them.
For example we have a strong, senior female leadership team, with 50% of the cabinet female and 54% of senior officers also made up of women.
We are also helping young mothers, securing more than £745,000 of additional capital government funding in April 2017 to boost the provision of free nursery places across the borough, with five early years’ childcare providers benefitting to support the delivery of 30 hours’ free childcare for working parents of three and four-year-olds.
As we mark International Women’s Day this Friday, I still believe there is still more to do. However, I am proud of what we are doing here at Cheshire East to bring about gender equality.”
(Photo: CEC Celebrate International Women’s Day at Crewe Alexander Stadium: Thursday 7th March 2019)