Eilidh Whiteford


Eilidh urges women to use their vote in May

Monday, 16 March 2015

Banff and Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford has pledged to support two of the UK’s leading women’s charities in their call for all women to use their ‘vital’ vote in this year’s General Election. Dr. Whiteford has pledged to listen to women, especially survivors of violence against women and girls in the constituency when campaigning and in Parliament.

Girlguiding and Women’s Aid, who together represent and support nearly one million girls and women across the UK, want to ensure all women’s voices are heard at the ballot box on May 7th. More than 10,000 girls in guiding will be first-time voters in May.

The joint plea came as the two charities hosted a cross-party event in Parliament on Wednesday, highlighting the issues that matter to women ahead of this General Election. Dr. Whiteford has signed the Women’s Aid pledge to Hear Her, See Her, Believe Her¸and is supporting Girlguiding’s Girls Matter campaign.

Speaking afterwards, Dr. Whiteford said:

“Women and girls are essential in my constituency, and we cannot make good political decisions without taking women and girls into account. I am pleased to support Women’s Aid and Girlguiding in urging all the women in my constituency to vote, and pledge to take their concerns and experiences into account in my work in the constituency and in Parliament.”

Women’s Aid are urging parliamentarians to ensure their constituency offices are a safe place for women to disclose domestic violence, and to include information from Women’s Aid on their websites about how to register to vote anonymously. Women’s Aid wants to see Parliamentarians to commit to supporting their calls for sustainable funding for specialist needs-led domestic violence services and widen the legal aid gateway as these are two of the things that matter most to survivors.

Women’s Aid Chief Executive, Polly Neate, said:

“Survivors of domestic violence often feel like they are in an invisible prison: that no one sees the violence or believe them if they speak out about it. So many women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and two women a week are killed by a partner or ex-partner, so it’s essential their voices are listened to. We’re urging all survivors to vote, and most of all, urging every politician to see, hear, and believe the women in their constituencies who are being abused.”

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