Despite not being Liz Kendall’s biggest fan, I practically whooped with joy when I read that she’d told a Daily Mail journalist to fuck off for asking about her weight. 2015 was a big year in politics and particularly for women. 2015 was the year that saw Turkey and Saudi Arabia elect record number of female politicians, Hilary Clinton have resounding success in the Presidential debates and The Sun finally succumb to the “No More Page 3” campaign. We’ll quietly ignore the pink bus; it turns out that a vehicle reminiscent to something Barbie might drive is not the way to turn women onto politics.
Now, I understand it’s Boxing Day so in between eating leftovers and watching “Space Jam” no one’s up for reading anything too heavy. For that reason I’ll stick to the much loved list format for this one. So – happy Boxing Day: 9 times women won politics.
1. Corbyn’s Cabinet
Yes, he should have appointed Angela Eagle as his chancellor, but that aside, with the final headcount standing at 16 women and 15 men this is still the first women heavy Shadow cabinet we’ve seen. Although I still think the press missed a trick by not referring to it as The Corbynet…
2. Stella Creasy and the Tampon Tax
There are a number of reasons to love Stella Creasy her but her best moment of the year for me was her argument against the Tampon Tax (and forcing MP Bill Cash to say the word “tampon”)
3. Abby Tomlinson
I make no secret of my admiration of Abby. This year she shot to fame after creating #milifandom to try and counteract the unfair media portrayal of Ed Miliband. Since then Abby’s shown she is a force to be reckoned – she took on the Murdoch press for hounding her extended family and (my favourite ever moment) she stood up to bullying from the ever delightful Louise Mensch. This is just the start of things to come for Miss Tomlinson; I’m certain we’ll be hearing about her for years to come. Is it too soon to start #Abbyfandom?
4. Kezia Dugdale
Although the rest of the UK may have voted for a sausage fest of a Labour party Scotland elected Kezia Dudale as the new leader of the Scottish Labour Party. Well done Scotland.
5. Nicola Sturgeon
Whilst we’re on the subject of Scotland, you can’t review the year in politics without mentioning “The Most Dangerous Women In Britain.” Whatever you think of her politics there is no denying that Nicola Sturgeon lead an impressive campaign in the run up to the Election. Straight talking, quick witted and feisty as hell Sturgeon made herself the selfie Queen of Scotland, lead her party to a stonking victory winning 56 out of a possible 59 seats and topped the Women’s Hour 2015 Power List.
6. Jess Phillips
Jess Phillips MP hit the headlines a number of times this year. The most controversial incident was when she responded to the suggestion men’s issues should be debated in parliament on International Men’s Day (as there are few opportunities to discuss issues important to men) with:
When I’ve got parity, when women in these buildings have parity, you can have your debate. And that will take an awfully long time”
7. Mhaira Black
Mhaira Black, the youngest MP elected to the House of Commons, gave a killer maiden speech attacking the Conservative’s austerity programme, “I am the only 20 year old in the UK that the Chancellor is prepared to help with housing.”
8. Saudi Arabia
Not famed for their equality agenda, Saudia Arabia took a big leap forward this year by allowing women to vote for the first time ever. 130,000 women registered to vote which falls massively short of the 1.35m men that registered but in a country where women aren’t allowed to drive, this is progress.
9. Angela Merkel
In the face of harsh criticism, Merkel stood firm on her policy to not limit the number of refugees that could enter Germany even though it meant standing alone. This year Germany have welcomed over 250,000 refugees which is over 12 times the number Britain has pledged to take in the next 5 years. Her response to critics that say she is compromising the security of Germany and stretching their resources too thinly? ” Wir schaffen das.” We will cope.