It’s 2019 and women in Northern Ireland still don’t have access to the same rights as women in the rest of the UK in terms of access to abortion. In 2018 I campaigned for Northern Irish women travelling to England, Scotland and Wales to access an abortion without charge. Consequently, Conor McGinn (MP for St Helens North) and I tabled an amendment the Northern Ireland Bill which increases the accountability of the Northern Ireland secretary of state Karen Bradley to ensure that the country's laws are human rights compatible. There is still more to be done to ensure that women in Northern Ireland have the same rights as women in the rest of the UK.
Tackling the gender pay gap (GPG) makes cold, hard economic sense. If the UK gap were to be closed, this could generate an additional £150 billion to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) up to 2025 and add 840,000 women to the UK workforce. Our overall gender pay gap is 13.7 per cent — factor in part-time workers which are predominantly women and it rises to 17 per cent. In response to all private companies with more than 250 employees being required under the law to publish their gender pay gap, I launched alongside a group of cross-party women MPs, the #PayMeToo campaign. We’re aiming to give women the advice they need to tackle the gender pay gap in their workplaces.