The Fabian Women’s Network has worked in partnership with various third sector organisations to hold a number of successful fringe events at the Labour Party’s annual conferences. In 2006 the Network joined with Girlguiding UK to host a policy breakfast on encouraging diversity in volunteering. Ed Miliband MP and Tom Levitt MP spoke at the event which was attended by approx 20 key opinion formers and stakeholders.
At the 2008 annual conference FWN held two successful events. The first was a training session for women’s officers entitled “Putting women’s voices at the heart of policy”. Women’s Minister Barbara Keeley MP also spoke and the event was attended by delegates, women’s officers, party staff and MPs. The ways to engage younger women were particularly debated, and attendees drew on their experiences within the Labour Movement to share ideas of best practice on encouraging women to get involved in politics.
The Network also co-hosted “Mum’s the word: is ending women’s poverty the key to ending child poverty?” with Oxfam UK and the Fawcett Society. Speaking at the event were Katherine Rake, Director of the Fawcett Society, who spoke about Fawcett’s campaign “Keeping Mum”. This is exploring the impact of motherhood on women’s financial position and risk of poverty. Kate Waring, Director of Oxfam’s UK Poverty Programme, discussed the gendered nature of poverty in Britain and the impact of this on families. Emily Thornberry MP also spoke about her experiences of women and poverty in her Islington constituency. A lively question and answer session followed the speeches.