Copy_of_LindaSpeaking.RegConf.2010Amongst all the column inches published this week about Margaret Thatcher there has been much about her influence on the status of women.  Opinions vary but people who knew and worked with her all agree that she never showed any wish to help women.  Far from smashing the glass ceiling she was the one who got through and then pulled the ladder up behind her.  But would David Cameron do any better if he didn’t have to?

In her February Newsletter Linda McAvan reminded us of the of the significant part the European Parliament has played in supporting the equal opportunities policy particularly since it established its Committee of Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in 1984. These include:

Equal rights for part-time workers

Maternity rights

Equal rights to a pension

Read more about these achievements at

And looking across the political spectrum what does UKIP have to say on women’s rights?

Here is Godfrey Bloom – Yorkshire MEP  for UKIP – following his appointment to the European Parliament ‘ I am here to represent Yorkshire women who always have dinner on the table when you get home.’

Or Godfrey Bloom again: ‘No self – respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age.’

And when UKIP’s only female MEP left UKIP last month, stating: ‘He (Nigel Farage) doesn’t try to involve intelligent professional women in positions of responsibility in the party. He thinks women should be in the kitchen or in the bedroom.’

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