Now is the time, when a no-deal Brexit is looking increasingly likely, for women who value being EU citizens to make a stand.

Women, particularly those in the women's rights movement, are saying:

1) We want to take back control of our rights: as EU citizens in a Europe being taken over by macho populists; as UK citizens in a UK where parliamentary democracy is being undermined by a few power-grabbing (largely) men; and as people concerned about the inequalities growing within our society and economy.

2) We want to take back control of how resources within our country are distributed and used for the benefit of all people not just the wealthy and powerful.

We currently live in a country which has allowed those in power to be appointed by an unrepresentative few of the population, and thus our only protection against erosion of our rights is our membership of the EU legislative process and compliance with those laws to which our country signed up and in many cases instigated.

Our membership of the EU has brought us peace in a world where peace is not guaranteed by division and separatism. As well as a relatively stable economy, it has brought us social progress in workers' rights, women's rights, rights for disabled people, for older people, for children  and for minority groups. 

Our membership of the EU has brought us a wider citizenship giving us freedom to travel to countries which diversify our experiences and to meet people who broaden our outlook and knowledge. As a women's movement we value working with women from different cultures and histories, to influence policies and laws, for the benefit of women and their families.

Women benefit directly from the resources devoted by the EU to social projects and supporting the voluntary organisations which help vulnerable people.

We want to keep all these benefits. We are unappologetic 'remainers', whatever 'leave deal' politicians may make with the EU. We are tired of our voices not being listened to or taken seriously. We belong to the almost half of the voters who voted to remain in 2016, and are tired of being told that 'the British people' made a decision when only just over half of them did. We may be a minority but we are a big one - much, much bigger than the minority which chose our current government. It's time to make our voices heard.

 

Views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily of Fair Play South West

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