// 1 May 2008

Local elections have arrived! 2008 marks the 90th and 80th anniversaries of the two franchise acts that gave women the right to vote in Britain – a right that some women sacrificed their lives for and many women still don’t have access to. Don’t forget to take the opportunity to pull the levers of power today if you’re eligible.

If you’re in London and still making your decisions, Fawcett has video interviewed the leading Mayoral candidates about how they would promote women’s equality and respond to the needs of ethnic minority women in the capital if elected. The videos mark the launch of Fawcett’s new femocracy campaign on ethnic minority women and politics which aims to empower black women to make change in formal decision-making processes, including by voting.

If you’re not registered to vote, I’d be really interested in hearing about why not in the comments…

Update: There’s also an interview on Fawcett’s site with Merlene Emerson on her experiences as an ethnic minority woman candidate in the Assembly elections and why she thinks political power is not in the hands of black women.

Photo by ianturton, shared under a Creative Commons license

Comments From You

anna rannva // Posted 1 May 2008 at 1:12 pm

im not allowed to vote, because im not english, which is annoying because i have lived here for almost 10 years. i would totally vote if i was allowed to, but to do that i would have to get a british passport, which costs loads and loads of money and i dont really need it because of any visa reasons. so yes, overall annoyance.

zohra // Posted 1 May 2008 at 1:53 pm

That’s the kind of thing it’s helpful to hear about, and is what I meant by ‘many women still don’t have access to’. There are so many women in this country whose lives are affected by politicians but who aren’t in a position to influence them or hold them to account because they don’t have the right to vote.

Betsy // Posted 1 May 2008 at 1:57 pm

I’ve just voted. It was my first vote in a polling station (voting in my university city, as opposed to my home city where votes are postal), and there wasn’t anyone there voting, and the polling people looked really bored, which was sad.

E-Visible Woman // Posted 1 May 2008 at 3:09 pm

Ladies of London! Tell Boris to fuck off!

The rest of the country will be thanking you for it, if you succeed.

Jess // Posted 1 May 2008 at 4:34 pm

Yes, for goodness’ sake, whatever you do, don’t vote for Boris!

Lynne Miles // Posted 1 May 2008 at 4:54 pm

Yes – fuck Boris! I voted Red Ken. My polling station was pretty empty as well – but I console myself that was because I went at 10.30 and I suspect most people will vote either before or after work?

Ellie // Posted 1 May 2008 at 6:05 pm

This is the first time I’ve been old enough to vote and when I was at the polling station it really hit me how hard people had fought so that I could have the right to stand there alongside my male flatmate and vote. It was an amazing powerful moment for me although I realise that some remain vote-less and there is still work to be done. But still, it made me proud of my feminist forebears!

Caitlin // Posted 1 May 2008 at 7:10 pm

I can’t vote yet :( Not 18 till June, which is rather infuriating. Don’t really know who I’d vote for anyway though – there never seems to be anyone that I can actually envisage getting stuff done, especially for women…But I’m agreed – Ladies of London, do indeed say no to Boris! I have friends who say they’d vote for him because he’s ‘funny’ – but that’s really not what you need!

Kirsty // Posted 1 May 2008 at 7:17 pm

I’m not in London, so just local council elections for me. Voted first thing on my way to work.

Please don’t let Boris in. Please. *fingers crossed*

Suzi K // Posted 1 May 2008 at 7:24 pm

I voted first thing this morning on the way taking the kids to school – I’m also a Party Worker for the IWCA and was supposed to be Telling this year again but a migraine has put me in bed in agony so unfortunately my part in democracy today is a little small……..

Shev // Posted 1 May 2008 at 10:37 pm

I live in a little town where the choice consisted of a 1-2 ratio of Tory to Labour, so I spoilt my paper. I want my vote counted – and I want it counted that I do not think any of the candidates are going to serve my interests as a voter. The system is broken.

Oh, but do vote for Ken if you can – because how are we to castigate the Americans for voting Bush in if we allow this fascist to represent London?

BareNakedLady // Posted 2 May 2008 at 10:11 am

Wholeheartedly agree with the principle of spoiling your paper if there’s no voting choice for you. I felt good walking out of the polling station just knowing that my vote, going elsewhere, was going to fractionally decrease the percentage of votes gained by the BNP. Warm fuzzys.

Davina // Posted 2 May 2008 at 11:18 am

I am registered to vote, but In Bristol…

I would’ve voted for Lib Dems. Looking at the BBC map it seems the Tories are taking about half of the councils. This is bad news for tomorrow. I didn’t think that he’d do it and I really bloody hoped he wouldn’t – but Boris might actually become mayor of London…

Cara // Posted 2 May 2008 at 5:00 pm

I voted! Yay! Although am 27 only 2nd time I have ever voted, the other time being in the last general election. I was a student the one before and didn’t bother to register in my uni city, which I am ashamed of now.

Feminists should most definitely use the right to vote, which our foremothers fought for. I will stop preaching now.

And no to Boris! No! I will be on tenterhooks all evening until they announce the results! God no, surely no-one can seriously have voted for that overpriveleged buffoon?

Anne Onne // Posted 3 May 2008 at 12:28 am

They did. Sad to say he’s our Mayor, now. Either that, or it was some elaborate joke and they’re yet to announce the real results, but I’m not holding out for it…

I kind of knew it. People are generally really sick of labour, and they’ve forgotten hos moronic Conservatives can be, so with the current climate I kind of expected people to vote against Labour out of spite.

My one grim hope is that he’ll reveal himself to be truly shambolic as soon as the sheen comes off him, and people will grow tired of the conservatives. He’s tried very hard to be less of a public buffoon the last few months, and he can’t hold it in forever. In a way, this might be the chance for the Conservatives to be truly shown up before the general elections. I don’t want Boris to do something really stupid, because that would affect real people, but I hope that if he does, and there is a great chance, it is taken seriously by the people.

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