Women and Girls' Equality Panel

Women and Girls' Equality Panel

About Greater Manchester’s equality panels

The Greater Manchester Equality Panels have been established to advise, support and challenge Greater Manchester’s political leaders and policy-makers to tackle the discrimination and disadvantage that cause injustice and inequality in society, and champion Greater Manchester as an inclusive city-region. They do this by working together with the GMCA and partners to:

  • Provide insight into Greater Manchester’s diverse communities, enabling political leaders and public bodies to listen and engage in a more targeted and effective way
  • Communicate key messages to our communities as trusted sources
  • Codesign policies, programmes and strategies to ensure they work effectively for communities
  • Support an asset-based approach, highlighting new opportunities (and challenges) for positive collaboration that build on the resources and strengths within our communities

The Women and Girls’ Equality Panel is one of seven equality panels established and funded by the GMCA. Other equality panels include:

Disabled People’s Equality Panel (internal webpage)

Faith and Belief Advisory Panel (internal webpage)

LGBTQ+ Equality Panel (internal webpage)

Race Equality Panel (internal webpage)

Older People’s Equality Panel (internal webpage)

Youth Combined Authority (internal webpage)

Aims of the Women and Girls’ Equality Panel

The Women and Girls’ Equality Panel was established in December 2020. It aims to accelerate gender equality and ensure women and girls across Greater Manchester have their voices heard and influence GMCA policy and decision-making.

The Panel meets four times a year, and aims to:

  • Advise the Mayor and GMCA on key issues and the inequalities facing women and girls, and provide solutions
  • Provide a critical voice and scrutinise the work of the Mayor and GMCA
  • Undertake specific pieces of work to reduce the inequalities experienced by women and girls in the city-region and across society

Working groups

The Women and Girl’s Equality Panel currently has two working groups, which meet every 6-8 weeks:

Education, Skills and Employment: Key themes the group explores are the foundational economy, childcare, skills pathways, what ‘good employment’ means, women’s self-employment and co-operatives, as well as care and commissioning.

Violence and Women and Girls Working Group: Key areas of focus for the group include gender-based violence, women’s safety in public spaces, victim support, sexual objectification, and migrant women with No Recourse to Public Funds.

The working groups will be discussing their forward plan and topics that will be discussed in the new year and updates to this will be made in the new year.

The current members are:

Panel Members and Organisation


  • Sally Carr MBE, co-chair of the Panel’s Education, Skills and Employment Working Group, is a Proud Queer Romany person who has worked across Greater Manchester for over 35 years. Sally is the founder of a number of organisations, including The Proud Trust, and is currently working to support Gypsy Romany and Traveller LGBTQ+ young adults through the Pride Road Collective. Sally is North West Area Director at StreetGames UK, where she/they are enhancing inclusive practice through sport, for girls and young women, Black, Brown, and ethnically diverse young people, and LGBTQ+ inclusion.
  • Emma Persand, co-chair of the Panel’s Education, Skills and Employment Working Group, founded Lemur Health and Working with the Menopause. She was awarded the title of Queen’s Nurse in recognition of her commitment to leadership and employee health through evidence-based education and training. Emma is vice-chair of the Society of Occupational Medicine’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and works with the British Standards Institute on the Menstruation and Menopause Workplace Guidance.
  • Gemma Aitchison (BA hons, MSc, PGCE), Chair of the Panel’s Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) thematic group, has over 10 years of working to prevent VAWG in memory of her sister. Her work has included government policy and international research. She is passionate about prevention and the rights of victims. As chair of the GMCA VAWG Panel her aim is to advocate and educate to make Greater Manchester a safer place for women and girls.

Panel Members

  • Amy Rothwell
    • Amy Rothwell works for Boo Coaching & Consulting, helping leaders create happy, healthy workplaces. She is also the Bolton Maternity Voices Partnership Lead. She stood down as a trustee of Women’s Housing Action Group when her second son was born. She is particularly interested in maternity, parenting, childcare – both from the perspective of a user of services and those who work in them.
  • Annie Emery
    • Annie Emery is the Chief Executive of MASH, a charity providing support to all women involved in sex work. Annie’s work crosses multiple issues including VAWG, homelessness, health, addiction and poverty. Annie has over 20 years of experience working in the voluntary sector. Her award winning work focusses on social justice and equality. Using an intersectional lens, Annie works across sectors, centring women’s voices and experiences to consider how we collectively create and enable lasting and impactful systems change, so everyone can actively participate in life and opportunities.
  • Angie Power
    • Angie Power has expertise in Honour Based Abuse (HBA), Domestic Abuse (DA), Forced Marriage (FM), Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Safeguarding and Breast Ironing. Angie is well known as a campaigner for equality and women’s rights. She has campaigned for the eradication of FGM since 1988 and is globally recognised for her work. Angie has worked with Cheshire police and partner agencies as a critical friend for 20 years. Additionally, she works at a grassroots level building trust and confidence with diverse communities using interpreters to remove language and cultural barriers.
  • Alice Coren
    • Alice Coren has a varied professional experience - she started in graphic design, swung through social work and ended up starting a women’s charity. She has worked alongside people experiencing huge economic and social inequalities for the past decade, and learnt so much. When women come together they can change the world.
  • Fiaza Manzoor
  • Gail Heath
  • Memory Nyahunzwi
  • Nadia Ali
  • Noor Al-Saffar
    • Noor Al-Saffar is a 4th year Medicine and European Studies student at the University of Manchester. Attending Manchester High School for Girls, the school at which the Pankhurst sisters were educated, instilled in her a drive to advocate for women’s rights. Her interests include intersectionality, enhancing women’s experiences in healthcare, as well as supporting girls in education and their pursuit of higher education. She is also Deputy Chair of the national Medical Students’ conference, and a member of the University’s EDI committee.
  • Taslima Ahmad
    • Taslima Ahmad is a multi-award winning Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur, including Prime Minister’s Point of Light Award and National Lottery Heritage Award UK, Taslima is passionate about promoting self-employment for women through home based handmade textile manufacturing. Taslima founded ‘Creative Design & Manufacture UK’ to coach women to facilitate that process.
  • Vic Stewart
    • Vic Stewart is the CFO at The Alchemist, Non-Executive Director at Lancashire County Cricket Club and co-founder of The 6% Club which works to increase female representation in dealmaking. Vic is passionate about improving opportunities for women to progress to leadership positions, and to improve access to funding and support for self-employed women.
  • Shaneil Finlayson-Small
  • Lisa Rees-O'Donnell
  • Ellie Walsh
    • Ellie Walsh is a Project Manager in Public Health at Manchester City Council. Ellie’s roles have mostly been in education and health, and she does a lot of sport outside of work. Gender inequality is very apparent in these areas, which has made her passionate about work to advance equality, and the Women & Girls Equality Panel is a great way to contribute to this work.
  • Erykah Blackburn
  • Shabana Sadiq
  • Paola Morris-Palomino
  • Amita Kanjee
  • Rachel Ward Newton
    • Rachel Ward Newton has worked with people seeking asylum and sanctuary in the UK for over 10 years. Rachel completed her master’s degree in Global Development, focusing on conflict and the gendered experiences of migration. Rachel has spent many years volunteering with organisations supporting survivors of rape and sexual violence and feels strongly about understanding gender-based experiences, and fighting injustices through an intersectional lens.
  • Stefanie McDonald
  • Zoe Cox
    • Zoe Cox is a Bolton based feminist, academic, educator, and social entrepreneur. Her particular areas of passion are around preventing sexual exploitation and other forms of violence against women and girls.
  • Cordie Gwilym
  • Amy Fairbrother
  • Lucindy Osei
    • Lucindy Osei is a Diversity Equality and Inclusion Champion who is passionate about greater sex education and female empowerment for girls in schools, safeguarding against the sexual exploitation of girls and young women, support and spaces for young mothers, and permanent access to free sanitary products in all spaces.
  • Samantha Dixon
  • Jasmine Mohammad
    • Jasmine Mohammad is the Director of Safety4Sisters. Safety4Sisters is dedicated to upholding the rights of Black and minoritised migrant women with no resource to public funds, who have experienced a spectrum of gendered violence and face multiple forms of oppression and discrimination. Prior to this role, Jasmine worked as the VAWG Services Manager at the Angelou Centre, a specialist by and for service in Newcastle. Jasmine is the chair and co-chair of two specialist by and for northern women’s organisations: Ubuntu Women’s Shelter and Humraaz.
  • Youth panel member - passionate about highlighting  young people views to the panel where amongst a group of other women we can work endlessly to make changes for women in GM

Facilitators and GMCA Leads

  • Mahmuda Khanum - GMCA
  • Anabel Butler - Pankhurt Trust
  • Eleanor Radford - Pankhurst Trust

Contact the Women and Girl’s Equality Panel

The Women and Girl’s Equality Panel is facilitated by The Pankhurst Trust (external website)

If you would like to keep up to date on the work of the Panel and subgroups, you can join our Allies Network. Just email womenandgirls@pankhursttrust.org and ask to sign up to our Basecamp. Through Basecamp we will share useful information about topics that affect women and girls in Manchester and ask you for your input.  

You can also keep up to date and get involved with the Women and Girl’s Equality Panel by following GM 4 Women 2028 (external website) on Twitter (external website).

Latest report on gender equality for Women and Girls in Greater Manchester, covering employment, safety, participation, education, and culture & active lives is now available. To read the report email: womenandgirls@pankhursttrust.org


VAWG Workplan 2023 (docx, 37.7KB)

Position Statement Ceasefire in Palestine and Israel (docx, 73.2KB)

Women and Girls Equality Panel - Annual Report 2022/23. (docx, 927KB )

(Accessible) Women and Girls' Equality Panel - Annual Report 2021/22 (docx, 208KB)

Terms of Reference for the panel. Nov 23 (docx, 91.4KB)

Tackling gender and racial discrimination: A joint statement by GMCA, Mama Health & Poverty Partnership and Women's Resource Centre (PDF, 82KB)

Women and Girls' Equality Panel - Annual Report 2021/22 (PDF, 288Kb)

Position statement against the closure of rail ticket offices 2023 (internal webpage)