by Annabelle Cooper
Kirstein Rummery, Social Policy professor at Stirling, has been chosen as the only Westminster candidate in Scotland for the Women’s Equality Party (WE).
Founded in 2015, they had two candidates running in the Scottish Parliament elections: one in Glasgow and the other in Edinburgh.
Now, Kirstein will be standing as a candidate for the Stirling constituency. It is the fastest growing political party and has equality for all enshrined in its core values. When asked why she wanted to run for WE she answered that, while she wanted to work with parties in the past, they’d say “yes, we hear you” expecting a change – but nothing happened.
More recently, Rummery stated that at the local elections “council representatives do not represent me”. During the candidate launch, which took place at Macrobert Arts Centre, Rummery spoke about the key areas for WE: women in politics; lowering the gender pay gap; increasing social care funding because “families are at breaking point”; and tackling domestic and sexual violence against women, by providing sanctuary and preventing sexual violence, through education around issues such as consent.
After being told over and over again that “now is not the time” for social care funding for women in politics, Rummery said: “Women cannot afford to wait our turn, I don’t want my daughter to wait till it’s her turn”.
She added: “I will be focusing on the need to properly invest in social care and childcare, so that disabled people, carers, and working parents can help us grow our economy, and we can all benefit from living in a caring society that values everyone.
“Inequality and violence harm everyone and the Women’s Equality Party (WE) works for a fairer society”.
One third of MPs at Westminster are women, and when asked why more women should be in politics, she answered that “women have different experiences when it comes to threat, violence, social care, education and work.”
Despite the political furore over Brexit, the WE does not have a stance or policy on Brexit, but does believe referendums are good for getting women’s voices heard, rather than going through “traditional routes.”
When faced on issues concerning Brexit, or Scottish Independence, Rummery said she would be “driven by her own experiences” and “think about how the policies effect women, people with disabilities, by generally the voices not usually heard in politics”.
When asked about why people should vote for her, over larger parties she answered” “I know what matters to Stirling” through living, working, and raising a family in the area. At the root of things “I am not going through the traditional route to politics” but she is determined to “fix politics” to get “equality for everyone” by removing “gendered oppression.”
She wants “to do politics a bit differently” since “politics in general are not working” and strongly believes that WE “are better for men women and children”. She is excited to run for Westminster and believes “there should be more people like me in Parliament”.
In the run up to the general election (June 8), Rummery will be holding ‘meet the candidate’ sessions at the Smiths museum café every Sunday at 2pm, commencing May 20.
Brig will be interviewing other candidates for the election in the coming weeks.