Thursday, February 07, 2008

Still a long way to go on equality, justice and democracy for women

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Really interesting photos and associated notes on the Guardian site entitled: Suffragettes: 90th anniversary of right to vote (on 6 February 2008)...though wikipedia describes how then there was certainly no male-female equality on voting and we were very far from voting justice for both men and women :

Representation of the People Act 1918 - the consequences of World War I convinced the government to expand the right to vote, not only for the many men who fought in the war who were disenfranchised, but also for the women who helped in the factories and elsewhere as part of the war effort. Property restrictions for voting were lifted for men, who could vote at 21; however women's votes were given with these property restrictions, and were limited to those over 30 years old. This raised the electorate from 7.7 million to 21.4 million with women making up 40% of the electorate. Seven percent of the electorate had more than one vote. The first election with this system was the United Kingdom general election, 1918
Representation of the People Act 1928 - this made women's voting rights equal with men, with voting possible at 21 with no property restrictions

The pay gap between men and women is still very large in the UK and too little is being done. Discrimination and sexism is still rife here and around the world. Men in all key positions of power and influence far outweigh numbers of women. Violence against women is all too common....the list goes on. There is still a very long way to go on equality, justice and democracy for women. See this list of Green work on this issue.

Dont develop green spaces by covering them in houses, invest in them and create more because its best economics

Really interesting post by Nick Harrison, who amongst many other things is on the steering group of Transition Bristol (, on the Bristol Sustainability Network site, copied below:


Counter to the now (very dated) approach to economic development which demands land be made available for housing and commercial development above all other needs, there is now a burgeoning evidence base that investing more in greenspaces and quality landscape design is a crucial factor influencing inward investment decision-making. See:

The benefits of quality greenspace to the attractiveness of an area has been shown repeatedly to influence crucial investment, productivity and organisational effectiveness issues such as whether businesses can attract and retain the best staff.

If Bristol is to attract and retain the best businesses and employees then investing in good quality urban landscape and greenspace doesn't 'hamper' economic development (as those who stand to make ££ from developing such land would have you believe), far from it, the evidence now suggests that far from being an obstacle, it is an essential pre-requisite for strong, sustainable economic growth.

Mind you ideas like the 'best businesses and employees' and 'sustainable economic growth' deserve some examination, and possibly qualification, to remain consistent with sustainability thinking. And there is an issue with regard to the source(s) of funds to invest in green spaces of course (though to raise funds, as is now planned in Bristol, by flogging green space to invest - only partly - in green space, seems seems bizarre given Nick Harrison's words and of course the ineffective, inefficient spending of Bristol City Council).

Evidence shows then that 'greening up' Bristol, rather than cutting green space, is best economics.