Doing politics with respect in the European Parliament

Julie Ward is a poet, theatre-worker and former community activist. She is also the Labour and Co-op Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the north west of England - a huge region, covering 7 million people.

European politics is grownup and female-friendly. Over half the Labour MEPs are women and we have a female leader, Glenis Willmott. So I think Europe is where it’s at for women, because consensus politics is modern, progressive, courteous, peaceful and pragmatic politics, absolutely concerned with finding common ground rather than with differences. I wish we had a similar system in the UK. I think that the male-dominated, braying, shouty, adversarial style of politics in the UK is very off-putting for women, so we need to challenge the actual culture of the political class.