International Women’s Day is on 8th March to give ‘an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality’.
Jackie Derbyshire meets Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero who has worked hard to succeed in the male dominated environment of Parliament and wants to encourage more women to get involved in politics.
As a journalist you can help address the injustices but as an MP I can do more. Now it’s not just about suggesting change but making change happen.Gloria De Piero
Pavement pounding, parading around Parliament and fighting for injustices is all in a day’s work for the former broadcast journalist turned politician.
Gloria first made a name for herself working as the political editor for GMTV but she turned her back on the popular position and its job security to ‘change people’s lives’.
“I don’t like talking I like doing,” says the northern lass who hails from Bradford. “As a journalist you can help address the injustices but as an MP I can do more.
“Now it’s not just about suggesting change but making change happen.”
Since becoming the first female Ashfield MP back in 2010, the 42-year-old married Labour party member has been campaigning on behalf of her constituents whilst battling against a tide of inequality where only 148 of 650 MPs are women.
“Although I haven’t personally been the target of sexism in the House, it does happen,” adds the Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities.
“Unfortunately Parliament is still dominated by men - as are all the top professions.”
Gloria was one of the members who promoted the much maligned Woman to Woman campaign as part of this year’s General Election and its pink bus grabbed the headlines.
“The campaign is about engaging more women in politics by travelling around the country and breaking down barriers,” she explains.
“People think politics is about the nonsense they see on TV but that is just a tiny part of the job. It’s really about sticking up for communities and tackling issues like the bedroom tax.
“Many women say they don’t understand politics and switch off from it. But it is down to all the political parties to step up.
“To do this we need to change the way we work by going out into the community more.”
Gloria without doubt is an impassioned ambassador for women in politics.
“Other MPs might be more lucid and articulate but maybe they are less passionate than someone like me from my background who believes in never giving up.”