Archive for August, 2022

Come on Labour, happy to back women’s football and the brilliant Lionesses but still denying Labour Women’s Declaration a stall at conference? Women are watching

02/08/2022, 10:33:30 PM

by Joanne Harding

On Sunday afternoon I had the absolute privilege of attending the Women’s Euro final at Wembley Stadium. As the Executive Member for Culture & Leisure in Trafford, I was incredibly proud to host the opening match at Old Trafford and watch the amazing journey of the Lionesses unfold. The atmosphere during the final was one of hope, anticipation but most importantly one of friendship, vitality and really wanting the women to win.

I watched, with my heart in my mouth as we entered extra time; but I was also caught off guard a few times feeling very close to tears. Bursting with pride at what these women had achieved so far, thinking about the message they were sending out to women and girls everywhere. The final whistle couldn’t come quick enough and, when it did, the stadium erupted.

Walking back to the tube, the image that stuck with me was of a father walking ahead of me, his two daughters, probably about 7 and 8, draped in the Three Lions flags. I asked the girls if they had enjoyed the game. Their little faces lit up and they were telling me how much they had loved it. Interestingly, the dad was a little blunter with his observations. He recounted his experience of watching the England V Italy match in 2021, “I couldn’t have taken the girls anywhere near that match, men drunk, shouting and swearing. This has been totally different, a real family atmosphere”

Those little girls saw women winning and I want them to hang on to that. That dad witnessed the differences between the way that men and women behave; and, in a world where we are battling to end violence against women and girls, I want him to hang on to that. I want them to be part of the change we want to see for women and girls, not only in sport but in wider society.

During the very long train journey home, I of course took to Twitter. I saw the Starmer tweet congratulating the England team and I saw the responses. Not, in my opinion, wholly unfair responses either.

“What is a woman?”, “What is a girl?”, “Protect women’s sports.”

(more…)

Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon