Labour Has Set Up A Women In Empowerment Programme

The Labour Party's programme was founded in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox

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The memory of Labour MP Jo Cox, who died earlier this year after being shot and stabbed as she came out of a constituency meeting in Birstall, West Yorkshire, has been honoured by the Party as they announced the Jo Cox Women in Leadership Programme.

Over the next five years, the new training and mentoring programme will train women to be future leaders.

It will do this through a series of nationwide events and close mentoring.

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The first programme will run from December 2016 until July 2017.

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ELLE caught up with Labour MP Jess Phillips to ask more about the scheme and its significance.

'The Jo Cox Memorial programme is a fitting tribute to our friend and colleague who dedicated so much of her energy and her life to getting more women to step forward and dare to be brilliant.

Only 29% of MPs are women, only 32% of local councillors in England are women.

It isn't good enough. Women's representation matters.

When Leymah Gbowee, who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with women in Liberia, was asked one single thing we could do to improve things for the poorest most abused women of the world, she answered, 'More women in power'.

Jo was the Chair of the Labour Women's Network, a group that works with women in the Labour movement to give them the skills and tools to get selected as candidates and campaigns for women's voices in our party.

This training will do exactly the same.

If Jo were here she would say "go for it" to anyone daring to think that that they should apply

Since it was launched lots of women have got in touch with me worried that they are not qualified:

"I'm just not sure I'm good enough to apply." One woman wrote to me on twitter.

I've met many women in my life who doubted how good they were, hampered by a society that presents men as leaders, breadwinners and trailblazers.

One very special woman felt the same.

I remember a number of times when Jo herself told me she didn't feel she was doing enough , or wasn't sure of herself.

If Jo were here she would say "go for it" to anyone daring to think that that they should apply.

We all know how amazing Jo was, we need to start believing it about ourselves, this programme will help women to do that.'

And that is a call to action.

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Find the application form here.

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