Fawcett Society call for testimony on sexual harassment in politics

The Fawcett Society is working with Hogan Lovells, a global law firm which is providing pro bono (free) assistance, to gather and analyse the testimony of women in politics who have experienced sexual harassment.  The purpose of the analysis will be to draw out general themes from women’s testimony and identify possible policy responses.  The findings of the report will be published in an online report in the autumn of 2018 and publicised at an event in parliament.  The report will not identify the women that have given evidence to the project, either directly or indirectly.  With permission Fawcett would also like to publish some or all of the testimony (anonymised and with any identifying details removed) to create a public record using women’s own voices of the nature and impact of sexual harassment in our politics. 

Who are we hoping to obtain evidence from? 

We would like to obtain evidence from a wide range of women who have experienced sexual harassment while working in the political environment, including  

  • Those working/ volunteering in the parliamentary estate, 
  • Those working/ volunteering within political party structures. This includes volunteers, unpaid interns 
  • Those whose work or voluntary activity involves working alongside politicians or party workers 
  • MPs

How will the process of giving evidence work? 

You can agree to take part in the project by completing the consent form at the end of this document and returning it to testimony@fawcettsociety.org.uk

Download the consent form here: Reforming Parliament sexual harassment information document FINAL AUG 18

Changes to government email addresses

The Government Secure Intranet (GSi) network is being phased out across government, which means that organisations will be dropping ‘gsi’ from their email addressees.

Some organisations have already made this change, such as the DVLA and the FCO, and others will be changing theirs in the near future.

The migration will be completed by 31 March 2019, after which date any messages sent to a .gsi address will not be delivered.

We have already pro-actively emailed all of the relevant organisations on our MPs’ Hotline List, and several of the addresses have already bounced. We will update each address as we receive confirmation of the changes.

Invitation to contribute to Inquiry into Bullying and Harassment

On 19 July, the House resolved to set up an Inquiry similar to the Dame Laura Cox QC inquiry into bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment, of the staff of Members of Parliament and others engaged in Parliamentary work on their behalf.

The Inquiry, launched today, is being conducted by Gemma White QC.

Please visit this page to learn more, and for details on how to contribute to the Inquiry: https://intranet.parliament.uk/business-news/news-current-issues/news/2018/november/invitation-to-contribute-to-inquiry-into-bullying-and-harassment/

NEW: courses to help you with casework

The House of Commons Library is offering four new ‘taster’ courses aimed at helping you answer common constituents’ questions in the areas of housing, special educational needs, employment law and anti-social behaviour.

The training will be provided in Westminster by experienced lawyers. You can sign-up via ACT by first logging into the ACT Learning Pool (via Office 365), and then clicking the links below:

Introduction to Housing Law for caseworkers
The Law and Special Educational Needs and Disability
An introduction to employment law for caseworkers
The Law and anti-social behaviour

Once you have registered, we will be in touch with further details.  If you have any questions, please contact hclibrary@parliament.uk or call x3666.

Photographic exhibition of all 209 Female MPs seeks funding

On 14th December 1918  women voted for the first time in Britain, and in the same year the first female MP was elected.

To mark 100 years since some women achieved the right to vote, the 209 Women project aims to take over parliament with 209 new photographic portraits of all female MPs, shot exclusively by female photographers, and make it free and open to the public.

To ensure that all of the women photographers involved receive support to make this visual statement, they need help, and have set up a funding page at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/209-women/

The aim is that the exhibition will hang in Westminster from 14th December to February 2019 (tbc). It will be curated by Hilary Wood, (founder of ‘209 Women’ and photographer), Tracy Marshall (Director of Development and Partnerships at Open Eye Gallery, Co- Director of Northern Narratives arts initiative) and Cheryl Newman (Artist, curator and former Director of Photography of the Telegraph magazine).

The exhibition is supported by Liverpool City Council. In February 2019, it will travel to Open Eye Gallery, to be exhibited in partnership with Culture Liverpool.

Behind the scenes: Diane Abbott (Labour), photographed by Karen Knorr. ©Karen Knorr.

A new way to book meeting and committee rooms in the House of Commons

Please note that rooms can not be booked by members of the public.

From Monday 8 October 2018, there will be a new way to book meeting and committee rooms in the House of Commons, including a ‘self-service’ portal on the intranet.  These changes will affect rooms in the Palace, Portcullis House, Norman Shaw North, 1 Parliament Street, 7 Millbank and Richmond House.

See here for further details: https://intranet.parliament.uk/access-buildings/offices-rooms/room-bookings/

Meeting room bookings
If you would like to book a room for a meeting, the Room Booking and Access Team will now manage all enquiries and can be contacted, Monday to Friday on x3050 between the hours of 9am – 6pm, or email hocroombookings@parliament.uk.

Alternatively, bookings can be made in the Customer Services Hub in Portcullis House and the self-service room bookings system, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for booking all meeting rooms (except committee rooms). All bookings will be automatically confirmed by email.

Information on the rules relating to the use of parliamentary meeting and committee rooms can be found on the intranet.

Functions and events bookings
If you are planning a function or event or hosting a breakfast, lunch, dinner or reception, the House of Commons Events Team will manage all enquiries, including all bookings for the Attlee Suite.

The team can be contacted on x3090 between the hours of 9am – 6pm Monday to Thursday and 9am – 4.30pm on Fridays, or you can email hoceventsteam@parliament.uk

It’s Not OK. Girls’ experiences of street harassment

Every day girls are being harassed on the street.

They’re being catcalled, followed, groped and grabbed. And it’s happening everywhere.

With alarming new statistics, Plan International UK launches a new report ‘It’s not OK’ revealing the scale of street harassment faced by girls in the UK.  Hear from girls as they discuss the research with leading decision-makers.

Hosted by Tim Loughton MP with opening remarks from Maria Miller MP.

Date: Wednesday 10 October 2018
Time: 8.30 – 10.30am with breakfast and networking
Venue: The Churchill Room, House of Commons, SW1A 0AA

RSVP essential: rsvp@plan-uk.org

Have you looked at POST’s publications recently?

POST provides balanced and accessible overviews of research from across the biological, physical and social sciences, and engineering and technology. It places the findings of this research in a policy context for Parliamentary use.

The best known format for these briefings are ‘POSTnotes’: four page summaries of public policy issues based on reviews of the research literature and interviews with stakeholders from across academia, industry, government and the third sector; they are peer reviewed by external experts. POSTnotes are often produced proactively, so that parliamentarians have advance knowledge of key issues before they reach the top of the political agenda.

Find out more here: https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/offices/bicameral/post/publications/

House of Commons Library on BBC Westminster Hour

As BBC Radio 4 puts it, ‘The House of Commons library is an indispensable part of life at Westminter conducting research for MPs and providing impartial briefs on everything from the environment and schools to Brexit’. They have given enormous support to w4mp over the years – and this lovely piece by reporter John Beesley is  an excellent tribute as they celebrate 200 years.

Listen here