Mayor John Biggs celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) today (Friday 8th March) and celebrated the theme ‘Balance for Better’.

Marking one year on from the launch of the Tower Hamlets Labour Party Women’s Manifesto the Mayor highlighted areas where the council is delivering on the manifesto for women:

  • The Mayor and Cllr Asma Begum signed a Violence Against Women and Girls Charter in November which promised to reverse gender stereotypes and lobby the government to make misogyny a hate crime.
  • The council has also campaigned for government to properly fund domestic violence refuges and ensure the funding is ring-fenced to protect the most vulnerable women.
  • The Mayor has invested an extra £5.5m in Children’s Services, protected funding for Free School Meals and introduced holiday hunger schemes as well as keeping all our Children’s Centres open. The council is also developing plans to introduce nursery deposit loans. These measures are designed to support women and ensure that childcare doesn’t become a barrier.
  • The WorkPath scheme has a focus on getting hard to reach groups including women and people from BAME backgrounds into work and training. Since it was set up in April 2017 the WorkPath service has got over 2,000 women into work or training, with the wider WorkPath partnership helping even more residents. On IWD the Mayor is presenting certificates at an event for the Women’s Construction Skills Programme that the council is running in partnership with Bouygues, Mount Anvil and Women Into Construction.

The Labour Group now has 18 female councillors out of 41, the highest number ever of any group on Tower Hamlets council. In March 2017 the Labour Group proposed the introduction of parental leave for councillors to encourage a greater gender balance in the council chamber. This was subsequently adopted by the council.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said: “I’m proud to be celebrating International Women’s Day. The borough has a rich history of inspirational women from the suffragettes to the many women that I have the privilege of working with today in the Cabinet and Labour Group. We are delivering on our Women’s Manifesto to make the borough a better place to live and work for women.”

Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member of Community Safety and Equalities Cllr Asma Begum said: “I’m determined to make Tower Hamlets a better place for women. Through initiatives like our Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Charter and getting women into the labour market, we’re putting the idea of Better Balance into practice.”

Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Air Quality Cllr Rachel Blake said: “This International Women’s Day we should remember that Local Government is responsible for many services which women disproportionately depend on and that women disproportionately work in Local Government and Schools.  We are delivering on our pledges to women and will continue to do so and campaign for services which support women.”


Mayor & Cabinet Members
Mayor & Cabinet Members
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