8th March 2017

Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Marion Fellows, has highlighted progress made on gender equality today (08/03/17) – International Women’s Day.

Speaking in a debate in Parliament last week, the MP gave a personal account using family and workplace experiences:

“I have personally been discriminated against. I secured a new job setting up jobcentres across the east coast of Scotland in 1974. When I phoned to confirm the final arrangements for starting, I mentioned I was pregnant and was told, “Goodbye.” I never started that job.

“It is vital that the kinds of tests that I had to face are never revisited. Although there are laws to protect us, it is attitudes that matter, and attitudes have to change.”

The MP also spoke of her time as a North Lanarkshire Councillor for Wishaw when she joined a working group to secure equal pay for the female workforce at NLC.

Commenting, she said:

“The equal pay fiasco at NLC under Labour’s watch was disgraceful. Some women working for NLC were systemically discriminated against.

“It has been thanks to the work of the women workers, lawyer Carol Fox, and trade unions who defended their rights that claims have been settled, however I understand a number are still ongoing.

“Progress has been made thanks to the hard work of strong women. But we cannot rest. It is essential that women and men continue to strive for gender equality and challenge it head on. There is work still to be done!”

Mrs Fellows finished her speech by calling on Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Caroline Dinenage, to guarantee that there were no financial cuts to help women internationally arguing that education is the key to advancing gender equality:

“If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family and a nation.”