Women’s Equality Party Will Field Candidates In Next Year’s Assembly Elections

“We expect to be fielding candidates in next year’s Welsh assembly elections.” Newly elected leader of the Women’s Equality Party, Sophie Walker is feeling determined and confident after telling BBC Radio Wales’ Sunday Supplement that the party would be taking a non-partisan approach to elections.

Sophie Walker, new leader of the Women's Equality Party.
Sophie Walker, new leader of the Women’s Equality Party.

“We will work with other political parties where they want to work with us and, where we see that other political parties are adopting our goals and taking on our agenda, then we would consider joint candidacies with them.”

The feminist group is now in its fourth month of existence after it was created by broadcaster Sandi Toksvig and journalist Catherine Mayer. It is the fastest growing political party in Britain, having already gained interest from 30,000 people in the UK.

Sandi Toksvig, co-founder of the party.
Sandi Toksvig, co-founder of the party.

Ms Walker pointed out, “We’ve picked the perfect time to launch a political party because of the number of proportional representation elections coming up in the spring.” She went on to explain that the party is in the early stages of planning its strategies moving forward and is discussing with its members which seats to target.

The party held its first meeting back in June, after which Helen Walbey, chair of the Cardiff and Valleys branch, commented that it is not a “single-issue party”. She also shared with the public the ethos of the Women’s Equality Party by pointing out that research has shown “when women have equality, everybody in society does better.”

All party leaders appear very positive, stating that they intend to field candidates in the coming year and believe they have a good chance. This should form a strong grounding going into 2020 and as Sophie Walker concluded “who knows what the political field is going to look like by then”.

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#LiveFearless with Bodyform

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This year Bodyform re-launched its #LiveFearless competition which aims to bring women together by inviting them to share what scares them, and what empowers them to overcome those fears. Royal Holloway University London (RHUL) Feminism Society is excited by the opportunity to get involved and asked for self-defining women to take part in a video discussing what fearlessness really means.

A group of us got together to chat about what Live Fearless means to us individually and the conversation that grew was both inspiring and fascinating. What stood out most was that each of us experienced varying levels of fear and needed the necessary courage to overcome it.

As students we are intensely familiar with nerves, anxiety and the major consequences these can have on a person’s life, given the pressure that young people are put under in relation to career aspirations and academic success, amongst other things. At the same time, we are lucky enough to have grown up without facing the fears experienced by young women living in countries at war, or in cultures where they have limited rights and far less freedom than us.

The conclusion we came to is this:

Fearlessness is a relative concept.

We talked about times when just getting out of bed in the morning feels like a major achievement, or when minor things like hurtful comments from other people or a fear of being judged seem to control your entire life. Each of us have our personal battles and coping mechanisms. By talking openly and candidly about them we’re hoping to support Bodyform in a bid to encourage women to take inspiration from each other and share their own stories of facing their fears – whatever that means to them.

The campaign asks women to share a picture or video on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with a short caption summarising their story. The comfort we found purely through making this video and confiding in each other has helped begin to break down the stigma surrounding mental health and other types of anxiety or fear by encouraging women to support rather than criticise each other.

We want to create a sense of community similar to the incredible worldwide support we received for our recent #UglyGirlsClub project. It’s crucial that we maintain this community, using the modern power of social media to bring us together and help each other through rough times.

I’m personally a big fan of the #LiveFearless campaign and what it stands for. Having struggled with anxiety since my first year of university and knowing so many people with similar experiences, I think it’s a brilliant way to help women take strength from each other and find the courage they deserve.

Bodyform’s Live Fearless campaign is a fun and engaging campaign with a very important message, that could become something much bigger and help make fewer people feel alone in their fears.

Watch our video below and share your own story with Bodyform at http://bit.ly/1Ruc1aA to help create an online community of inspired women and become part of a fantastic cause. Upload a picture or video of your fearless moment for the chance to win the grand prize Trip Around the World. Plus, weekly £100 ASOS vouchers can be won. You can also post your entry to Twitter with #LiveFearless and @bodyformUK.

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