Oxford Labour Women

International Women's Festival - What has politics ever done for women?

Thursday March 10th 7pm - 8:30pm

Court Room at Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1BX

Oxford Labour Women's Group will be hosting this session as part of International Women's Festival. Current councillors and recently selected candidates will share their reflections on being active in the community, becoming involved with local politics and why they were motivated to do so in the first place.

Speakers: Marie Tidball (City Council candidate for Hinksey Park), Catrin Roberts (City Council candidate for St Margaret's), Jane Stockton (City Council candidate for Summertown) and Sian Taylor (City Councillor for Northfield Brook). Booking is recommended, sign up through the events page


Oxford Labour Women (OLW) was set up in 2010 to:

  • Encourage more women to become active and stand for office 
  • Identify and campaign on issues relating to women, including the disproportionate impact on women of the coalition government's cuts 
  • Develop a supportive and inclusive women's network for Labour women and to support sister groups in the wider community

Gender Balance on City and County Councils

Following November's excellent by-election results (Labour got 70%+ of the vote in every one), the gender balance on both Oxford City and Oxfordshire County Council has changed.

In the City, we have two new women Councillors, Linda Smith and Sian Taylor, replacing Val Smith (who sadly had to resign because of ill health) and Steve Curran (who stood down in order to fight for the County seat).  This means that 39% of the Labour Group is female and 40% of the City Council as a whole. 

In the County, Steve Curran replaces Val Smith so we have 7 women and 8 men in the Labour Group and women form 47% of the Group.  The Leader of the Labour Group (and of the official opposition) is a woman, Liz Brighouse.

We still have a way to go to achieve proper balance on the City Council in particular.  


Full house for Oxford women



SALLY COPLEY, charity campaigner mother of two was our parliamentary candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon CLP in the general election. Sally was very active, including taking part in 25 hustings!  She increased the Labour vote by 2.1% to 12.7%. OLW canvassed and campaigned for and with Sally, including outside primary schools - very popular with the voters.


ANNELIESE DODDS, Oxford Labour Party is the South East's only Labour MEP.


  WOMEN candidates are needed for the 2016 CITY COUNCIL elections. If you are active and interested and would like support from OLW, get in touch/come to our next meeting:


NEXT Oxford Labour Women's MEETING. TUESDAY JULY 14th. 6.30pm at Oxford Town Hall



Since 2010 Oxford Labour Women have:

  • Supported our women candidates in Westminster, European and city and county council elections 
  • Supported new women who were elected to Oxford City Council in 2012 and 2014 and to Oxfordshire County Council in May 2013. 
  • Run training for prospective women candidates for local selections and elections.
  • Successfully challenged, together with other Oxford women's groups, the licence for a local lap-dancing establishment.
  • Run open meetings about the impact of the Con-Dem government's cuts on women.
  • Run a questionnaire survey about members' work-life balance and flexible work options.
  • Run an annual quiz evening which tests the political and gender knowledge of our members and friends of all ages and genders
  • Collected data about the impact of government policies on schools and education.
  • Campaigned against closures of children's centres in Oxford

The Women’s Officer position is shared by Sue Tanner and Sue Ledwith. Get in touch here if you want to get involved

If you are interested in taking part in the OLW development programme then please get in touch.


OLW activists who are now some of Oxford’s Councillors:


Bev Clack, City Councillor for St Clement’s: “The Women’s Group played a vital part in my decision to stand as a Labour candidate.  Meetings are enjoyable and thought-provoking, and it is an important place to me where I know I'll find support and encouragement.”  



Farida Anwar, City Councillor for Headington Hill & Northway: "I have been attending LP Women's Group meetings from their very 1st meeting in 2010. They helped me to  made up my mind about joining in with the Labour Party. I find the group very suportive to its members. They provided great support in my election with campaigning. The Women's Group has proved successful in improving the gender balance in both City and County Council."




Pat Kennedy, City Councillor for Lye Valley: "Once I had more time in retirement, I decided to try to become a City Councillor in Oxford. The women’s group has been supportive of these aspirations.” 




Michele Paule, City Councillor for Rose Hill and Iffley: "I think being involved in the women's group helped take a lot of the 'scary unknown' out of standing for councillor - I met women like me who made me think I could do it too."  





Jamila Azad, County Councillor for St. Clement's and Cowley Marsh and Oxford Labour Party Ethnic Minority Officer.   




Glynis Phillips, County Councillor for Barton, Sandhills and Risinghurst: "The Oxford Labour Party Women’s Group has proved highly successful in improving the gender balance on both City and County Councils. As you can imagine there are strong voices on the group but the discussion is always held in an atmosphere of good humour and openness." 




This report finds a shocking absence of women from UK public life. See 'Sex and Power 2014. Who Runs Britain?'

Job sharing for MPs? Labour MP John McDonnell wants the law changed to allow MPs to job-share - a move which he says would help make Parliament more diverse. For more information click here.

See Professor Dr Simonetta Manfredi's blog on What has the EU ever done for women. Prof Manfredi is Director of the Centre for Diversity Policy Research at Oxford Brookes here 

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