Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
Earlier this week, I hosted an event on making our streets and public transport networks safer for women. We heard from brilliant campaigners and experts from diverse backgrounds about their experiences of public sexual harassment and what needs to change.
The consensus was clear that we need a fundamental shift in our culture, and a new approach to how we consider women’s safety. I am more determined than ever to push for the solutions that were raised in this session, and I have written to Government ministers to ask them to consider the proposals raised by the panel and to host a similar event themselves.
Labour has been clear that recent tragic events have to be a turning point. This is just the start of the conservation we must have on these issues.
Thank you so much to the all-women panel of Dr Helen Mott, Dr Finn Mackay, Sian Norris, Sarah Ditum, Marti Burgess, Asher Craig, and Helen Godwin-Teige who all spoke brilliantly at the Safe Streets for Women in Bristol event that I hosted earlier this week, and to everyone else who took part.
You can watch the event in full, here.
We had a wide-ranging discussion about how we can better ensure women’s safety whilst they’re out and about, be it on foot, on public transport, or cycling, and also talked about the night-time economy and the need for better SRE (sex and relationships education).
I am really pleased we had transport providers – including GWR and First Bus- and Avon and Somerset Police represented on the call. I am hoping to do a follow-up event after the May elections where we will ask stakeholders to tell us what they are doing to make Bristol’s streets safe for women and girls.