Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has shown her support for International Women's Day, an international initiative that celebrates women and promotes gender equality. The theme of this year's event addresses the need to 'Be Bold For Change'.
In her role as Minister for Women & Equalities, Caroline opened the London Stock Exchange this morning, alongside Veuve Cliquot Business Woman Awards finalists.
Commenting, Caroline said: 'International Women's Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate how far we've come, and take stock of what more we need to do. I'm thrilled that in Gosport 40% of our local councillors are women, and with the election of Trudy Harrison to the House of Commons last month 30% of MPs are now women. But there is of course much more to do and we must be bold in order to affect real change for women and girls not just in the UK, but around the world'.
Caroline welcomed the announcement in today's budget that £30 million would be allocated to initiatives that promote women's equality. £20 million will be awarded to organisations working to tackle domestic violence and abuse. This increases total funding for the Government's Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy to over £100 million in this Parliament.
£5 million will be used to support 'returnship' schemes, which help women returning to work after a career break. With women far more likely than men to experience an interrupted career pathway, this funding will help to ensure that women's skills and talents are not wasted.
A further £5 million will be used to support educational initiatives surrounding the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which in 1918 granted women the vote for the first time.