We are fortunate in the Green Party to have so many women in elected positions: Natalie Bennett, Caroline Lucas, Molly Scott-Cato and many others. Yet there seems to be a generation gap – Amelia Womack is one of the few younger women, and there aren’t many women of colour either. As equality and diversity officer for the Young Greens (YG), I wanted to change that.
The first Young Greens women activist training day sold out in under two hours, and over 200 women signed up to the waiting list. Amelia and Caroline Russell spoke about women in politics and their experiences, and there were workshops on intersectionality, direct action by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, and many others. Many women joined the Young Greens Women Facebook group and are active in discussing feminist news and organising. We held a second day in London and are preparing a third in Sheffield.
As a result, lots of women are thinking about standing for the Young Greens National Executive Committee, Senate, and Green Party elected positions. Hopefully it will also change the gender imbalance we had at the YG convention.
But perhaps the most significant thing to take away is how powerful women- only spaces can be. Tweets included: ‘What an enlightening day at the Young Green Women Training Day – being in a room full of like minded women was truly empowering’; ‘So glad I went to #YGWactivist day today. Maybe, just maybe, we can change the world’; and ‘Feeling #empowered after a wonderful day meeting the amazing women at #YGWactivist, excited to do more with @LondonYGs.’
As well as workshops, we organised caucuses (for LGBTIQA people, people of colour, et cetera), which led to lots of interesting discussions. To ensure that there was a diverse group of people attending, we had quotas for different groups so that the tickets weren’t just limited to those who booked first.
Hopefully, this is the push we needed to engage those new Green Surge members and will lead to these talented members taking on roles in the party!