The reality of Women's rights today and the Women's March: Discussion at Byline Festival

Together we rise. Women's rights, are human rights.

Together we rise. Women's rights, are human rights.

One woman in 5 is raped
and 1 in 3 suffers physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime, these are shocking statistics, no doubt and primary reasons for the Woman’s March on January 21st 2017.

Although it feels like we are bombarded with statistics every day on mainstream ‘click bait’ sites and many of those in the know are aware that these statistics have been this way for years if not decades, the lesser known facts of women who struggle silently are women of colour.

Research has shown women of colour are most likely to be the carers of the chronically ill, the elderly and the disabled. This no doubt affects their ability to earn, and with equal pay still in debate it is useful to know that 50% of women are the main earner in their household, 82% of those women are parents.

More shocking it will be women of colour who experience violence or sexual assault at the hands of the police and law enforcement and ‘more likely’ in a prison environment, so it is highly concerning that the rate of women of colour in the US incarcerated has increased by 700% since 1980, many of these women also have children.
Women who are black, indigenous or transgender are more likely to be trafficked, kidnapped or murdered.

The Byline Festival, the first of its kind intended to break the silence on some of these truths and will have Catherine Mayer attending, she is the co-founder with Sandi Toksvig, comedian, of the political Women’s Equality Party. Set up in 2015 their primary campaign for gender equality, stating Equality for women isn't a women's issue.
“When women fulfil their potential, everyone benefits. Equality means better politics, a more vibrant economy, a workforce that draws on the talents of the whole population and a society at ease with itself.”

Despite having “women” in the title of the party, the founders are clear that equality includes everyone, so effectually all are welcome, just like they were at the Women’s March.

It is vitally important in today’s political climate more than ever to stand up for the rights of women, equality and a fair economy.
All subjects of importance, they merit discussion and action, Emma Watson’s famous speech of “he for she” mean too that the men of our society are not only important to the debate but also integral for it’s change and growth.
From Tom Watson, to Frances Barber, the debates will ensue on the vital subjects that make our societies thrive and the issues that matter, women’s rights being part of the tapestry of them all, pointing us into the right direction of solutions, and actually hearing why in 100 years of getting the vote, do we still need to march to ensure the rights that women aren’t raped, trafficked, beaten, kidnapped or murdered, or simply just to attain equal pay.

*The Byline Festival takes place 2-4th June at Pippingford Park in East Sussex.
Hina Pandya

Hina Pandya