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General election manifestos 2024

It is one week until voting day and I have compiled direct quotations from the manifestos of the leading parties in the UK polls, in relation to PSH and women. The leading parties in the polls, at time of writing, are Labour, Conservative, Reform, Liberal Democrats, Green, Scottish National Party, and Plaid Cymru.





Labour Manifesto 2024

 

“For too long, violence against women and girls has been ignored. Our landmark mission to halve violence against women and girls in a decade will require a national effort. We will use every government tool available to target perpetrators and address the root causes of abuse and violence.

 

That starts with tougher enforcement and protection. With Labour, there will be specialist rape and sexual offences teams in every police force. The most prolific and harmful perpetrators will be relentlessly targeted, using tactics normally reserved for terrorists and organised crime.

 

Prosecution rates for rape are shamefully low with many victims dropping out of the justice system when faced with years of delays. Labour will fast-track rape cases, with specialist courts at every Crown Court location in England and Wales.

 

Victims deserve better support. Building on the success of the approach adopted by Labour Police and Crime Commissioners, we will introduce domestic abuse experts in 999 control rooms so that victims can talk directly to a specialist, and ensure there is a legal advocate in every police force area to advise victims from the moment of report to trial.

 

Violence and abuse against women and girls does not come from nowhere. Misogyny is one root cause, and therefore Labour will ensure schools address misogyny and teach young people about healthy relationships and consent. We will ensure police forces have the powers they need to track and tackle the problem.

 

Stalking has not been treated with the seriousness it deserves. Labour will strengthen the use of Stalking Protection Orders and give women the right to know the identity of online stalkers. Spiking is a devastating crime for victims, leaving many women feeling vulnerable when they go out. Labour will introduce a new criminal offence for spiking to help police better respond to this crime.

 

We will strengthen the rights and protections available to women in co-habiting couples, as well as for whistleblowers in the workplace, including on sexual harassment.

 

Women’s equality will be at the heart of our missions. Our plan to Make Work Pay will transform the lives of working women, including by strengthening rights to equal pay and protections from maternity and menopause discrimination and sexual harassment. And Labour will take action to reduce the gender pay gap, building on the legacy of Barbara Castle’s Equal Pay Act.

 

Delivering opportunities for all means that everyone should be treated with respect and dignity. Labour will protect LGBT+ and disabled people by making all existing strands of hate crime an aggravated offence.

 

So-called conversion therapy is abuse – there is no other word for it – so Labour will finally deliver a full trans-inclusive ban on conversion practices, while protecting the freedom for people to explore their sexual orientation and gender identity.

 

We will also modernise, simplify, and reform the intrusive and outdated gender recognition law to a new process. We will remove indignities for trans people who deserve recognition and acceptance; whilst retaining the need for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria from a specialist doctor, enabling access to the healthcare pathway.

 

Labour is proud of our Equality Act and the rights and protections it affords women; we will continue to support the implementation of its single-sex exceptions.”

 

Read the full manifesto here: https://labour.org.uk/change/ 

 

 

Conservative Manifesto 2024

 

“We will prioritise women’s health, following publication of the first ever Women’s Health Strategy in 2022. To support women further, we will:

 

❱ Bring forward a comprehensive national strategy for maternity care as recommended by the APPG on Birth Trauma’s inquiry.

❱ Deliver additional funding for maternal safety and improve access to mental health services for new mums, improve perinatal pelvic health services to prevent and support women with birth injuries and postnatal appointments dedicated to checking mums, not just their babies.

❱ Expand women’s health hubs so that every integrated care system has at least one hub up and running.

❱ Roll out fracture liaison services to every region, reaching 100% coverage by 2030 as osteoporosis disproportionately impacts women.

❱ Support continued research into disparities in maternity care through the National Institute for Health and Care Research.

 

We will complete the implementation of the Cass Review, protecting young people questioning their gender from ideologically driven care and ensuring that NHS services follow evidence-based best practice. We have already stopped the routine use by the NHS of puberty blockers for gender dysphoria and will legislate to permanently prevent their private prescription and supply. We will amend the NHS Constitution so that it recognises every patient’s right to request single-sex accommodation and same-sex intimate care. We will not allow the word ‘woman’ to be erased by health services. Words such as ‘breastfeeding’ and ‘mother’ will not be replaced by ‘chestfeeding’ and ‘birthing parent’.

 

We have made violence against women and girls a strategic policing requirement for the first time, making clear to the police that these crimes are as significant as terrorism, serious and organised crime and child sexual abuse. We have strengthened the law to punish predators with new offences for stalking, controlling or coercive behaviour, non-fatal strangulation and suffocation, sharing of intimate images or ‘revenge porn’, non-consensual taking of images of a woman breastfeeding, ‘up skirting’ and raised the maximum penalties for harassment. We will legislate to create new offences for spiking, the creation of sexualised deepfake images and taking intimate images without consent. We will support victims of domestic abuse including through our Domestic Abuse Act, which created a statutory definition of domestic abuse and gave new powers to police and the courts.

 

We will toughen sentencing for murders that take place within the context of domestic abuse with new aggravating factors, such as if they involve coercive and controlling behaviour or gratuitous attacks. We will introduce a 25-year prison term for domestic murders, regardless of whether a weapon is used. Those who kill their domestic abusers will not face the same starting point. This will be accompanied by a review of homicide sentencing, looking to close loopholes that allow some killers to get off lightly. We will introduce an aggravating factor for murders that happen in the context of ‘rough sex’, so it is never used as an excuse to get a lighter sentence. We have increased rape prosecutions by 56% since 2010 and we will ensure rape victims get the justice and support they deserve, with a new investigatory model for rape for police forces and prosecutors and pre-recorded crossexamination for victims in all Crown courts. We will carefully consider the recommendations of Baroness Bertin’s Independent Review of Pornography and ensure we have the right safeguards in place to protect against any harmful impacts of the industry.

 

We will toughen sentencing for the worst offenders. We have already ended Labour’s automatic halfway release for violent and serious sexual offenders. We will make life imprisonment without parole mandatory for more of the most heinous murderers and require rapists and other serious sexual offenders to spend the whole of their sentences behind bars. We will toughen sentences for knife crime, grooming gangs and assaults against retail workers and combat the ability of serious organised crime gangs to use new technology to harm the public. We will prioritise further measures to crack down on hyper-prolific offenders.”

 

 

 

Reform Manifesto 2024

 

“There are 2 sexes and 2 genders. It is a dangerous safeguarding issue to confuse children by suggesting otherwise. No gender questioning, social transitioning or pronoun swapping. Inform parents of under 16s about their children’s life decisions. Schools must have single sex facilities.

 

Replace the 2010 Equalities Act: The current Equalities Act requires discrimination in the name of ‘positive action’. It costs the economy billions of pounds, and has become a lawyer’s charter to print money. It has destroyed meritocracy, spread division and led to exclusion for some in majority groups. Scrap all Diversity Equality and Inclusion roles that cost huge sums, create division, inequality and exclusion, and reduce productivity.”


 


The Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2024

“We will make misogyny a hate crime”

 

·      “Requiring the Home Secretary, the Mayor of London and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to draw up an urgent plan to implement the recommendations of the Baroness Casey Review and tackle sexism, racism and homophobia, while encouraging other police forces to do so where appropriate.”

 

·      “Requiring all police forces to adopt ambitious targets for improving the diversity of their workforce and make regular progress reports to Parliament.”

 

·      “Ensure that survivors of domestic abuse are properly supported throughout the criminal justice system by:

Embedding domestic abuse specialists in every police force and 999 operator assistance centre to ensure that reports from survivors are handled effectively and sensitively.

Addressing the delays in domestic abuse referrals from the police to the CPS and subsequent decision making by the CPS, acknowledging the unique risk these delays can pose to women’s safety.”

 

·      “Improve the police response to mental ill-health by:

Introducing a target of one hour for handover of people suffering from mental health crisis from police to mental health services.

Ensuring that all forces have a mental health professional in the control room at all times.

Supporting the police to achieve adequate levels of training in mental health response.”

 

·      “Ensure that survivors of violence against women and girls and domestic abuse get the support they deserve by:

Fully implementing the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, with protections for all survivors regardless of nationality or immigration status.

Expanding the number of refuges and rape crisis centres to meet demand.

Ensuring sustainable funding for services to support survivors of domestic abuse, with a particular focus on community-based and specialist ‘by and for’ services.

Ensuring that survivors are properly supported within the criminal justice system, as set out in chapter 11.”

 

·      “Require social media companies to publish reports setting out the action they have taken to address online abuse against women and girls, and other groups who share a protected characteristic.”

 

·      “Stand up to hatred by:

Exposing and confronting the stereotyping, demagoguery and hate speech in public life and the media that inflames hatred and leads to spikes in hate crimes.”

 

·      “Protect everyone’s right to make independent decisions over their reproductive health without interference by the state and ensure access to high-quality reproductive healthcare, including enforcing safe access zones around abortion clinics and hospitals. Tackle the specific economic barriers facing women by:

Ending the gender price gap so that women are not charged more than men for practically identical products or services marketed at them.

Ending period poverty by introducing a right for anyone who needs them to access free period products.

Expanding access to flexible, affordable childcare, doubling Statutory Maternity Pay and expanding shared parental leave, as set out in chapter 9.”

 

·      “Reform the gender recognition process to remove the requirement for medical reports, recognise non-binary identities in law, and remove the spousal veto.”

 

·      “Improve diversity in the workplace and public life by:

Requiring large employers to monitor and publish data on gender, ethnicity, disability, and LGBT+ employment levels, pay gaps and progression, and publish five-year aspirational diversity targets.

Extending the use of name-blind recruitment processes in the public sector and encouraging their use in the private sector.

Improving diversity in public appointments by setting ambitious targets and requiring progress reports to Parliament with explanations when targets are not met.

Providing additional support and advice to employers on neurodiversity in the workplace, and developing a cross-government strategy to tackle all aspects of discrimination faced by neurodiverse children and adults.”

 

·      “Implement a comprehensive Race Equality Strategy, including:

Reducing the disproportionately high maternal mortality rates for black women and eliminating racial disparities in maternal health, with a cross-departmental target and strategy.

Ending the disproportionate use of Stop and Search and requiring all police forces to adopt ambitious targets for improving the diversity of their workforce, as set out in chapter 11.

Ending the Conservatives' Hostile Environment, implementing the Windrush Lessons Learned Review and repealing the Conservatives' discriminatory 'Right to Rent' law, as set out in chapter 18.

Scrapping the Conservatives' voter ID scheme and requiring political parties to publish candidate diversity data, as set out in chapter 20.

Halting the use of facial recognition surveillance, which is most likely to wrongly identify black people and women.”

 

 

Read the full manifesto here: https://www.libdems.org.uk/manifesto

 


The Green Manifesto 2024


"Green MPs will always stand up against hate crime, misogyny and violence against women and girls, Islamophobia and antisemitism."


Read the full manifesto here: https://greenparty.org.uk/about/our-manifesto/



The Scottish National Party Manifesto 2024


"Increase paid maternity leave to one year, with maternity pay set at 100% of average weekly earnings for the first 12 weeks, then 90% for 40 weeks or £185.00, whichever is lower. The UK Government should increase shared parental leave from 52 to 64 weeks, with the additional 12 weeks to be the minimum taken by the father on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis, in order to encourage an increase in shared parental leave."


"Stand up for WASPI women by pressing the UK Government to deliver full, fast and fair compensation for women who have been wronged by pension inequality."


"Protect the right to abortion. We are clear that all women should have access to abortion services in a timely and safe manner. The UK Government should follow Scotland’s lead in reviewing the law on abortion to ensure that abortion is first and foremost treated as a healthcare matter."


"Protect and enhance the rights of LGBTI community. The SNP has a proud record of advancing and championing LGBTI rights in government, and we will continue to build on this, working with LGBTI communities, to make Scotland a fairer and more equal place to live. With independence we would have the full powers to improve equality in law and society, and the ability to champion LGBTI equality internationally."




The Plaid Cymru Manifesto 2024


"Plaid Cymru recognises the scale and challenges of violence against women and girls and the need to prevent and reduce the harm that this causes.

There are great challenges in the criminal justice system to ensure that women and girls are believed, and that they get justice for crimes committed against them.

There is a need for specialist training and support officers around the issues of coercive control, stalking and an improved understanding of homicide risk.

We will work with Police and Crime Commissioners in Wales to further develop this support for women and girls.

The number of convictions for crimes against women and girls is very small. The Victims Commissioner could help increase the number of successful convictions of perpetrators, as part of a series of measures.

These include:

  • Create a Domestic Abuse Register to protect women is a means of preventing death and injury because it enables the early identification of abusive men. This would shift the responsibility away from the potential victims (as happens under Clare’s Law) and on to the authorities and the offender themselves.

  • Stop abusers further harassing their victims through court proceedings and strengthen restraining orders and sanctions for breaching them.

  • Following the recommendation of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust that there are specialist stalking training requirements for all professionals dealing with stalking cases, and a unified recording system to be used by the Police, the CPS, the Home Office, Ministry of Justice and National Probation Service to follow the journey of a victim of stalking through the criminal justice system.

  • Ensure that laws relating to sexual images are always based on consent rather than intent - to close loopholes that see perpetrators get away with abuse, and

  • Increasing sentences for domestic violence and stalking offences."


"Plaid Cymru believes that women are not well served by our criminal justice system.

Women’s custodial sentences are served outside of Wales, with an impact upon travel time for the family, the provision of services in Welsh and a disconnect with their community.

Most women who serve custodial sentences are only in prison for a short period, which is less effective in reducing crime, but has substantial social impact.

We will focus on reducing crime through identifying the underlying reasons why women are involved in criminal behaviour and working with partners to resolve those issues, and review the effectiveness of short prison sentences for female offenders.

As part of this ongoing work to reduce crime, Plaid Cymru want to establish four community based women’s centres across Wales to support female offenders. We will work with Police and Crime Commissioners in Wales to deliver this, with one each in the north-west, north-east, south-west and south-east of the country."


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