International Women’S Day

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:57 pm on 2nd March 2017.

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Photo of Jess Phillips Jess Phillips Labour, Birmingham, Yardley 12:57 pm, 2nd March 2017

I absolutely agree. Every time a girl stays in school in any part of the world and uses her education to stand up and speak for the other women in the world, the whole world becomes a better place. Women with voices matter. Women with voices change things. Women with voices in here give hope and protection to women without a voice at all. I am proud of our efforts, and today I will lay down another marker and say that there is still much to do.

Last year, I rose to my feet in this House and read out the names of the 125 women who had been murdered by men. I decided that I would do that every year while I still had the privilege to be in this place. While we have achieved many things here, I hope that this list once again reminds us of all the reasons we must keep going. I want to stress that this list is the Femicide Census, which is collated by Karen Ingala Smith. The list is made up of all the women killed where a man was the perpetrator or is the principal suspect. While the majority of these deaths can be attributed to partner violence, they are certainly not all in that category and include all the women murdered by men they did not know in the UK since last International Women’s Day. Their names are:

Lyndsey Smith; Robyn Mercer; Paige Doherty; Carrie Ann Izzard; Lynne Freeman; Jodie Betteridge; Joanna Trojniak; Amina Begum; Natasha Sadler; Laura Marshall; Elizabeth MacKay; Marie Johnston; Norma Bell; Tracy Cockrell; Helen Bailey; Leigh-Anne Mahacci; Jean Ryan; Coleen Westlake; Nasreen Khan; Laraine Rayner; Fay Daniels; Louise O’Brien; Xin Liu; Natalie Hemming; Becky Morgan; Iris Owens; Julie Cook; Khabi Abrey; Anne-Marie Nield; Maria Mbombo; Maria Erte; Sonita Nijhawan; Dawn Rhodes; Sylvia Stuart; Andrena Douglas; Karen Hales; Jade Hales; Jo Cox; Helen Fraser; Jean Irwin; Nijole Sventeckiene; Agnieszka Szmura; Sarah Nash; Albertina Choules; Allison Muncaster; Fiona Southwell; Emma Baum; Claire Hart; Charlotte Hart; Tracy Gabriel; Samia Shahid; Nicola Haworth; Lenuta Haidemac; Hannah Pearson; Margaret Mayer; Darlene Horton; Gregana Prodanova; Lynne Braund; Donna Williamson; Xixi Bi; Mia Ayliffe-Chung; Shana Grice; Alison Farr-Davies; Melinda Korosi; Hayley Dean; Annie Besala Ekofo; Zofia Sadowska; Elizabeth Bowe; Nasreem Buksh; Zoe Morgan; Jackie Pattenden; Natasha Wake; Mandy Gallear; Lucy Jones; Vicky Bance; Alice Ruggles; Sophie Smith; Jodie Wilkinson; Pardeep Kaur; Ellia Arathoon; Belen Trip; Natasha Wild; Deeqa Ibrahim; Lisa Skidmore; Rebecca Johnson; Linda Ordinans; Holly Alexander; Andraya Webb; Umida Eshboboeva; Angela Best; Claire Nagle; Hayley Wall; Nicola Woodman; Eulin Hastings; Victoria Shorrock; Leonne Weeks; Kiran Daudia; Kulwinder Kaur; Anita Downey; Ann Furneaux; Chrissy Kendall; Gillian Zvomuya; Amandeep Kaur; Tina Billingham; Hannah Dorans; Catherine Kelly; Hang Yin Leung; Karina Batista; Humara Khan; Hazel Wilson Briant; Margaret Stenning; Avis Addison; and Julie McCash.

Let these women be our inspiration. Let these women be the ones who drive us. I would ask each and every one of us to remember these women, one of whom was one of us. We must remember them when we make our decisions and when we use our votes and our voices. We have a responsibility to be the voices of these women, now they are gone. On this International Women’s Day, let us remember why we are all here and let us raise our voices.