International Women’s Day

 Today is International Women’s Day.

We recently celebrated #VOTE100 and recognised all of the women who strove for equality over the centuries.

There has been progress, but from equal pay to harassment there is still a long way to go.

And I champion the work of the WASPI Women who continue to fight todays’ pension discrimination.


This Week (2018): #4

Monday 5th February

It was back to work for Marion on Monday, as she continues to work hard for the people of the Motherwell & Wishaw constituency.

Tuesday 6th January

Wednesday 7th February

Thursday 8th February

Thursday saw Marion quizzing the Cabinet Office on the Carillion debacle, receiving responses to a number of tabled questions which you can view here.

Friday 9th February

On Friday, Marion held her monthly surgery in the Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre in Bellshill. As always, the MP and her staff were on hand to talk to local people, give advice, and provide assistance on a number of issues.

 Saturday 10th February

Saturday marked the beginning of the UK Government’s February Recess, with MPs due to return to Westminster on the 20th of February.


This Week #46

6th – 12th March 2017

There were a number of meetings and briefings for Marion to attend at Westminster on Tuesday, as the Motherwell and Wishaw MP had a busy day of parliamentary business.

Prime Minister’s Questions followed the weekly meeting of the Education Select Committee on Wednesday, before Marion participated in the Westminster Hall debate on financial support for apprentices:

In this case, there is a lot to be learnt because of the positive way forward and how the Scottish Government understand and realise the necessity of training a highly skilled workforce to move us forward with lots of economic opportunity. We have a different agenda—I will not go into that now—but it is important for economic growth that every country looks at how it best trains and prepares.

As a former further education lecturer, I understand only too well the difficulties young people have when they are in any kind of education, and how important it is that they are properly resourced. It is also true in Scotland that apprentices do not fare quite as well as others. Although the rates are higher, they have the same issues and do not qualify for some things—again, that is a DWP issue to do with child benefit and so on. I would like the Minister to look at that because it is important.

I am the product of an academic route, as are many people in this room. I know the academic route does not suit everyone, and even if someone goes down the academic route, it does not always guarantee them a job. In Scotland we have the graduate apprenticeship scheme, which is proving really useful because it gives people real, hands-on experience and makes them much more employable. The whole idea of apprentices being cheap labour, serving their time and then being paid off has to end.

Marion’s full contribution can be found here.

Marion had another day of parliamentary business in London on Thursday, with her constituency office staff also attending the fantastic first session of Newarthill Library’s Storytime and Song project.

Friday saw Marion back home in the constituency, working from her office in the Dalziel Building in Motherwell.


International Women’s Day: One.Org

Happy International Women’s Day!!

I have been humbled this week, taking part in various events to mark International Womens Day. I have heard powerful messages from many inspirational women.

I took part in the IWD debate in Parliament – “You educate a man, you educate an individual. You educate a woman you educate a family.”

I attended the One.Org Poverty is Sexist Event which highlights the 130 million girls who don’t go to school as they are not allowed. This is unfair, unjust and perpeptuates poverty. I believe the fight against poverty isn’t about charity, but about justice and equality.

And lets not forget the thousands of WASPI women who’s retirement plans have been shattered and continue to fight for this injustice.

You are all an inspiration.


International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day and we must celebrate the achievements and contributions that women of all ages across the world make to society and our day-to-day lives.

Powerful women across the decades and centuries have fought fiercely for their rights and equality. Progress has been made, but there is work still to do to tackle attitudes, sexual assault, and the gender pay gap to name but a few issues. It is essential that we instil in our young women that they are equal and capable so that we may see more of them in our Parliaments, local councils and board rooms in the future.

Incidentally, today is also budget day. On this day, the Chancellor must protect vital services, in particular welfare, on which women and families disproportionately rely. He must also heed the calls to scrap the maintenance tax for victims who suffered from domestic abuse and whose ex-partners do not pay their full maintenance.

There is an opportunity for the Chancellor to protect women in this year’s budget. The only way we can advance the work of women in public and private life now and for the future is by investing in them and taking steps to protect their rights.


This Week #45

27th February – 5th March 2017

On Monday, Marion was back to London for another busy week as the Member of Parliament for Motherwell and Wishaw.

On Tuesday, Marion undertook a busy day of parliamentary duties, meetings, and briefings, as well as speaking during the debate on Intergenerational Fairness in the Chamber:

Wednesday brought with it the usual Education Select Committee and Prime Minister’s Questions, as well as a chance for Marion to meet Harry Potter actor Jason Isaacs as part of the Marie Curie ‘Make Every Daffodil Count’ campaign – helping provide care and support to people living with a terminal illness.

The Motherwell and Wishaw MP encourages local people to help the charity raise more money than ever before by simply giving a donation and wearing a Marie Curie daffodil pin, available from volunteers across the country, or Superdrug, Spar and Poundworld stores, during March. Morrisons supermarkets will also be holding GDA fundraising collections on 10, 11 & 12 March.

The charity is also calling on more people to help with local collections. Volunteering a couple hours of your time will make such a difference to the care and support that Marie Curie can provide.” For more information about volunteering for a local collection call 0800 304 7025 or

On Thursday, Marion delivered a fantastic speech for International Women’s Day, drawing both laughter and reflection:

I have been absolutely inspired by what I have heard this afternoon. In fact, I have rewritten my speech a good deal as I have been sitting here, but I am going to do the one that I originally started with. When I was asked to take part in the debate, I was also asked whether I could give the perspective of an older woman. I resisted for all of about 10 seconds, because I have now fully embraced my age.

A mother gives her child the best future she possibly can. She teaches her children what her mother taught her. My mother was born in 1919 and was an intelligent, caring woman who only wanted what was best for her three daughters, but she was raised in a time when men ruled. One of her favourite expressions to me was, “Marion, hen, don’t argue with your father. Just know that you’re right.” I could never take that advice and I frequently argued with my father, but I could only actually do that when only he and I were there, because he still had to be seen as the man of the house, and as untouchable and unarguable with it.

My husband was raised by his mother and four older sisters, although women are still a complete mystery to him. His mother insisted that George did not have to do any housework. Why should he? He had four sisters; I have heard frequently over the past 46 years how they felt about that. Many years later, he actually said to our daughter, “Rachel, why haven’t you tidied up?” My daughter said, “Why haven’t you asked my brothers that?” And he said, “Because you’re a girl.” I am not denigrating my husband—I actually asked him whether it was alright to tell these stories, because he knew I was going to do it anyway—but I just want to point out how much progress has been made in this regard. My husband would be horrified and absolutely heartbroken if his granddaughters did not receive equal opportunities and pay, and equality across the board. This is how progress has been made. It has not been easy and it is still ongoing work, but we have made progress in the Fellows household.

I have personally been discriminated against in my lifetime. I secured an exciting 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, ever revisited. Although there are laws to protect us, it is attitudes that matter, and attitudes have to change.

When I started working, I actually got equal pay with the men I worked alongside in Midlothian County Council. However, when I was a councillor in 2012, before I entered this place, I found myself on a member-officer working group on equal pay. The women on North Lanarkshire Council who did the best and worst jobs—home support assistants, lollipop women and all that—had fought for 10 years, but only when they went to a woman lawyer, Carol Fox, was their claim finally made. That should not happen.

I realise that I do not have much time left, but the one thing I want to say is that this is not about me, my family or the UK. I went to last night, and I want to say, here and now, that I fully support its “Poverty is Sexist” campaign. It is vital that we educate women across the world. I quote the African proverb:

“If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family” and a nation. Let us do that. Please Minister, let us make sure that there is absolutely no cut to what we give to women internationally.

Marion was back in the constituency on Friday, hosting her monthly surgeries in her Dalziel Building office. Beforehand, though, Marion attended the Dementia Friends Training session at Alzheimer Scotland to meet the volunteers and trainers helping those suffering from Dementia in our local communities.

Marion was also able to take the opportunity on Friday to announce her newest initiative – joining the Lanarkshire Big Lottery Team to host a Funding Event later in the month.

On Saturday, Marion was present at Wishaw Library for another drop-in surgery, before heading to Edinburgh for the Scottish Government’s International Women’s Day celebrations.



A SNP MP is launching a campaign to encourage older women to enter public life.

Marion Fellows, 66, who became a MP for the first time in May, is establishing a cross-party parliamentary group in Westminster which aims to encourage women over 50 to become active in public life, whether it is getting involved in politics, or their local communities.

Marion, who raised a family of three and worked in education, became a local councillor at the age of 62 before standing as the SNP’s Westminster candidate for Motherwell and Wishaw last year.

The All Party Parliamentary Group will meet following International Women’s Day, with members from all political parties invited to participate.

Commenting, Marion Fellows MP said:

“Standing to be an MP in my sixties wasn’t an easy decision, but it is one I’m very glad I made. It is vitally important that women of my generation are represented at all levels in society.

“Women often sacrifice their career and own interests for their families, but for many, they find themselves with some time later on in life when their children have grown up. I want to encourage women who may lack confidence to take a leap; why not get involved in your local community, put yourself forward for the school board, or get involved in local politics.

“I’m delighted to start this parliamentary group to work towards better representation of older women in public life. Too often, women of my generation are not being represented, but they have so much to offer.

“Society also needs to recognise a positive image of older women and the contribution they can and do make- more role models are needed whether that is on our television screens, writing in newspapers, standing on company boards or standing for election.

“The parliamentary group will look at the barriers which women my age face. We need to address the lack of older women, and do what we can to improve their role in society.”