Greater Manchester aims to accelerate gender equality as new Women and Girls Panel launched

A new Panel set up to accelerate gender equality in Greater Manchester launches today (Monday 7 December). The Greater Manchester Women and Girls Equality Panel will bring together a 20-strong group of diverse and informed women from across our 10 boroughs with the stated aim of informing public policy to “enable women and girls to live their best life in Greater Manchester.”

The Panel, co-chaired by Tameside Council Leader, Brenda Warrington, and Pam Smith, Chief Executive of Stockport Council, will establish a clear vision for women and girls in Greater Manchester to understand issues and inequalities affecting their lives, and recognise women and girls’ particular experience of Covid.

It will meet for the first time today and then on a quarterly basis and will develop a detailed two year action plan focusing on priority areas for intervention in addressing gender inequality within Greater Manchester.

Brenda Warrington, Age-Friendly Greater Manchester and Equalities Lead for Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Panel co-chair, said: “This first ever meeting of the Greater Manchester Women and Girls Equality Panel is a significant moment. We all know there are long-standing societal issues that contribute to gender inequality, both in our city-region and across the whole of the UK. In Greater Manchester, a place famed for our tolerance and inclusivity, we have long aimed to redress these imbalances – the formation of this Panel shows we are about actions, not just words.

“I am so pleased at the breadth and depth of the panellists – each will bring her own unique opinions and perspectives to bear. I am extremely confident that together we will deliver positive outcomes that leads to real change that will truly make Greater Manchester the best place in the country for women and girls to grow up, get on and grow old.”

Bev Hughes sits on the Panel and is Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire. She added: “I’ve worked in public life for many years and I am passionate about increasing the number of women in influential, decision-making roles. That is why I welcome the first meeting of the new Greater Manchester Women and Girls Equality Panel.

“Our city-region has a proud history forged by some truly exceptional women – Emmeline Pankhurst, Victoria Wood, Marie Stopes and Kathleen Ollerenshaw among them. My hope is that women and girls are inspired and boosted by the work of this new Panel to mould Greater Manchester for generations to come.”

Earlier this year, Panel membership applications were opened to women across the city-region to apply to join. In all, 17 women were ultimately chosen as participants. They are joined by the two co-chairs and the Deputy Mayor to form the 20 women tasked with establishing a clear vision for the future for women and girls in Greater Manchester.

One panellist is Memory Nyahunzwi, Founder and Chief Executive of Olive Pathway, which raises awareness on domestic abuse and GBV amongst Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people within Greater Manchester and beyond. She said: “I feel honoured to be part of this. I wanted to be on the Panel to be the voice and represent BAME women and girls. I want to assist in addressing current and existing gender equality issues and systematic barriers faced by women, especially by BAME women from disadvantaged, marginalised and less privileged communities.

“The establishment of the Panel is an important moment in advancing gender equality issues in Greater Manchester affecting women and girls regardless of race, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief. It will serve as a platform that promotes equality and inclusion for women and girls and will enable panel members to work collaboratively, strategically and critically review equality issues, strengthen current systems, policies and procedures and ultimately yield positive results and change that ensures empowerment for women and girls in Greater Manchester.”

The membership of the Greater Manchester Women and Girls Equality Panel comprises:

  • Brenda Warrington – Leader, Tameside Council (joint chair)
  • Pam Smith – Chief Executive, Stockport Council (joint chair)
  • Bev Hughes – Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester
  • Amy Rothwell – Boo Coaching & Consulting, Women’s Housing Action Group, Bolton Maternity Voices Partnership
  • Annie Emery – MASH (Manchester Action on Street Health)
  • Elizabeth Stanley – Wraparound Partnership
  • Francesca Gains – University of Manchester
  • Gail Heath – Pankhurst Trust
  • Gemma Aitchinson – YES matters
  • Halyma Begum
  • The Reverend Canon Jean Hurlston – Borough Dean for Oldham, Chaplain at Ashton Sixth Form College & Tameside Hospital
  • Lynn Collins – North West Trades Union Congress
  • Lynne Stafford - Gaddum Centre
  • Memory Nyahunzwi – Olive Pathway
  • Nadia Ali – Heaton Norris Community Centre & Make a Difference Community Group
  • Rebecca Steele – Rochdale & District Mind
  • Sandyha Sharma – Safety4Sisters North West
  • Sharon Maginn
  • Taslima Ahmed – Creative Design & Manufacture UK
  • Vic Stewart

Image: anthony kelly (opens new window) on Flickr licensed via Creative Commons

Article Published: 07/12/2020 11:56 AM