Rachel Reeves

Member of Parliament for Leeds West

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Leeds is one of seven 'Centenary Cities' celebrating some women getting the vote for the first time 100 years ago. It was a privilege to be with inspiring women leaders in Leeds this morning to celebrate the anniversary of women first winning the right to vote. 

leeds_women_2018_2.jpgIncredible women are leading positive change right across Leeds. It was wonderful to hear from multiple women leaders;  Lord Mayor Jane Dawson, Councillor Judith Blake Leader of Leeds City Council, Sam Millar, senior police officer, Chief Officer for Community Safety and Kate Bratt-Farrar, Chair of Leeds Women and Girls Hub. They were able to reflect on the progress women have made in the last 100 years and the work we still need to do.

This event was the launch of a twelve month programme celebrating women across the city. I look forward to seeing the upcoming events in our community.

Leeds Women 2018

Leeds is one of seven 'Centenary Cities' celebrating some women getting the vote for the first time 100 years ago. It was a privilege to be with inspiring women leaders in...

suffragette.jpg

100 years ago today, women won the right to vote when the Representation of the People Act made it onto the statute book. For the first time, women over 30 with property were allowed to vote, although it would take 10 more years for women to be given the vote on equal terms with men.

Today is a moment of celebration for the achievements of the women’s suffrage movement, of the tireless work of Millicent Fawcett, Emmeline Pankhurst - and in Leeds Mary Gawthorpe, Leonora Cohen and others for equal representation and equal rights. 2018 is an immensely exciting year in the women’s movement. I am delighted that there will the first statue of a woman on Parliament Square in the form of Millicent Fawcett, as well as Vote100’s Exhibition ‘Voice and Vote’ and many more events to mark the anniversary. There is also a wonderful exhibition on women's contribution at Kirkstall's Abbey House museum.

But if the suffrage movement taught us anything, it is that we should never be satisfied with the crumbs that fall from the table. Gender equality is still far from a reality, and we must constantly push ahead for reform. Whilst huge progress has been made over the last 100 years, women still only make up a third of the House of Commons, despite being half of the population. Women continue to face discrimination and sexism in all walks of life, within business, science, the arts, journalism and politics. And abuse and violence of women continues to be used as a method of intimidation and silencing of our voices, both online through social media and in real life, as was seen by the tragic murder of my friend, Jo Cox, in 2016. If we have learnt anything from the suffragists and suffragettes, it is that in the face of such attempts to silence us, we must make our voices louder both individually and collectively. There will be many words of celebration and rhetoric today, but we must also remember to follow through, as Emmeline Pankhurst said with Deeds not Words.

100 Year Anniversary of Women's Right to Vote

100 years ago today, women won the right to vote when the Representation of the People Act made it onto the statute book. For the first time, women over 30...

There's no point opening new train stations if we cannot get enough trains to stop at them. That includes Kirkstall Forge, where only one train currently stops every hour. I am determined to get more trains to stop at Kirkstall Forge and that is why I secured agreement from the Secretary of State for Transport to discuss the number of trains that stop at Kirkstall Forge. 

kirkstall_forge.jpgFrom this discussion, I am delighted to announce that additional trains will stop at Kirkstall Forge at peak times, following pressure from me and others. However, I still want to see trains stopping much more frequently, so I will keep working with transport decision-makers to make sure that local people get the best deal. More than enough passengers use the station to justify the introduction of extra services, which I made clear to the Transport Minister when I met him at the end of January.

When we met, I was able to have a very positive meeting with the Rail Minister, Jo Johnson, about increasing the number of train services that stop at Kirkstall Forge. We should find out by 24th February if the station will get the two services per hour that I have been campaigning for. I hope that the relevant decision-makers will agree to give Kirkstall Forge the services it needs and deserves.

Kirkstall Forge services

There's no point opening new train stations if we cannot get enough trains to stop at them. That includes Kirkstall Forge, where only one train currently stops every hour. I...

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