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Sandi Toksvig, Sophie Walker, Catherine Mayer at the Women's Equality Party policy launch in London. (Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images)


What does the U.K. leaving the E.U. mean for women?

June 24, 2016

Sophie Walker, leader of Britain’s Women’s Equality Party (WEP), has some questions about what happens to women in the wake of the U.K. voting to leave the E.U. Writing in The Telegraph, she asks:

“I would like to know what that means for women. For the cost of my childcare, for the likelihood of closing the pay gap and for the chances of this country ever ratifying the pan-European Istanbul Convention to end violence against women and girls.”

Walker is the first leader of WEP, founded in 2015 by journalists Sandi Toksvig and Catherine Mayer. While there are myriad unanswered questions about what the Brexit vote means and how events unfold from this unprecedented point forward, Walker’s questions raise important points.

Women were afforded some hard-won benefits via their positions as E.U. members, including sexual harassment protection and maternity leave. If the U.K. does leave, what will happen to these guarantees? Walker points out that her efforts to spark such conversations pre-vote didn’t yield much action, and that few women’s voices were heard in the chaotic campaigning of each side.

Walker is “calling right now for women to have a seat at the table to discuss strategies for coping with the financial shake-out that’s enveloping our markets, our currency and may spread before long to our livelihoods.”

Read the full story and Walker’s remarks on women migrants at the Telegraph.

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