The Liberal Democrat Lead Member for Mossley Hill, Alisha Lewis, has reacted angrily to the news that more than 30 women Labour Councillors voted against all-party motion on sexist language and behaviour at a meeting of Liverpool City Council on 24th January.
The motion was proposed by Lib Dem Leader Cllr Richard Kemp after Lib Dem Cllr Mirna Juarez was described as a ‘fishwife’ by Mayor Anderson at the November Council Meeting - Language that simply is not acceptable from the Mayor of our city in the 21st century.
Alisha Lewis says, “The motion, whilst drawing attention to the actions of the Mayor, tried to seek a constructive cross party strategy for tackling sexism in Liverpool politics. The plan sought to involve the Women’s Leadership Group and the Women’s Equality Party in producing a short course for all council members focusing on gender and equality issues.
“It is a disgrace that not one woman Labour Councillor was prepared to defy Joe Anderson’s instructions and support this cross party initiative to challenge behaviour that we all know should not be tolerated.”
Our rejected motion:
The use of sexist language - Councillor Richard Kemp, CBE:
Council believes that the way we use language is important and that those of us in public office should set a high example to the rest of the Community. It believes that many women are put off politics because of the use of sexist language and chauvinistic behaviour.
Council believes that politics can be an unwelcoming environment for women because of the use of sexist language and chauvinistic behaviour. Council regrets therefore, that Mayor Anderson used the term ‘Fishwife’ in response to questioning from Councillor Mirna Juarez at the last council meeting.
It therefore resolves to ask the Women’s Equality Party and the Women’s Leadership Group to work with the Council to promote a seminar for all councillors and staff on the appropriate use of language and behaviour, including preferred pronoun training to create a fairer and more inclusive environment for women in public life.