Q&A: Catherine Mayer on the fight for gender equality

Sunday, March 12, 2017 - 12:25

The Women’s March on 21 January was the largest recorded one-day protest in American history.

At the beginning of 2017, women’s voices are at the centre of political debate in the Western world.

Our WOW – Women of the World festival is a place to discuss issues that affect women’s lives, including pensions, domestic violence and racism.

This year, our speakers included Catherine Mayer, co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party. Founded at WOW 2015, WE won 1 in 20 votes at the London Mayoral race last year. In the run-up to this year’s WOW, we asked Catherine how she sees the future for women.

After a tumultuous 2016, what would you say is the impact of recent political events on women?
If there was any silver lining to 2016, it was that it punctured the idea that we are moving steadily towards a gender-equal world. Instead we see that not only can progress be halted; it can also be reversed. Some of the rights and protections enjoyed by women are under concerted attack.

What would you like to see happen for women this year?
Political turbulence can bring opportunities for women as well as increased dangers. I want to see more women breaking through in every field and working together for greater impact still.

What would you personally like to do to improve women's lives this year?
I will keep working through the Women’s Equality Party to bring new voices and perspectives into politics and advance our seven core objectives of equal representation, equal pay, equality through and in education, equal treatment by and in the media, shared opportunities and responsibilities in caregiving, equality in healthcare and an end to violence against women and girls.

What one thing would you recommend people do to help create a better world for women?
In my forthcoming book, Attack of the Fifty-Foot Women, I identify one mechanism that on its own could vastly speed the journey to gender equality. You’ll have to wait until the book is published to find out what that is.