Women’s Policies in the Liberal Democrat Manifesto

Flexibility at work and fair pay

Ensure swift implementation of the new rules requiring companies with more than 250 employees to publish details of the different pay levels of men and women in their organisation. We will build on this platform and, by 2020, extend transparency requirements to include publishing the number of people paid less than the Living Wage and the ratio between top and median pay. We will also consult on requirements for companies to conduct and publish a full equality pay review, and to consult staff on executive pay.

Equal care for mental health

Transform care for pregnant women, new mothers and those who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth, and help them get the early care they need.  Revolutionise children’s mental health services. With the £250m a year announced in this year’s Budget we will implement the proposals outlined in the report of the Government’s Children’s Mental Health Taskforce. This means building better links with schools, ensuring all children develop mental resilience, and getting support and care quickly to those who are struggling. Our investment will help ensure children can access high-quality care closer to home.  Support a million more women who want to work with better childcare, help with caring responsibilities and action against discrimination

Equality and diversity

To advance the cause of women and gender equality we will: Set an ambitious goal to see a million more women in work by 2020 thanks to more jobs, better childcare, and better back-to work support. Challenge gender stereotyping and early sexualisation, working with schools to promote positive body image and widespread understanding of sexual consent law, and break down outdated perceptions of gender appropriateness of particular academic subjects. Work to end the gender pay gap, including with new rules on gender pay transparency. Continue the drive for diversity in business leadership, maintaining momentum towards at least 30% of board members being women and encouraging gender diversity among senior managers, too. We will work to achieve gender equity in government programmes that support entrepreneurs.

Secure Communities

End FGM at home and abroad in a generation, teach sexual consent in our schools, and crack down on domestic violence

Tackling violence against women and girls

A fair society cannot tolerate today’s unacceptable level of violence against women and girls in Britain. We have made progress since 2010 but we will not rest until women feel safe and respected.

We will:

  • Ensure teachers, social workers, police officers and health workers in areas where there is high prevalence of female genital mutilation or forced marriage are trained to help those at risk.

  • Require the teaching of sexual consent in schools as part of age appropriate sex and relationships education.

  • Improve the provision of rape crisis centres and refuges for victims of domestic violence with a national network and national sources of funding.

  • Protect funding for tackling violence against women and girls and maintain the post of International Champion for preventing this violence.  

  •  Create a national helpline for victims of domestic and sexual violence – regardless of gender – to provide support, encourage reporting and secure more convictions.  

  • Work to ensure the whole criminal justice system updates practice in line with the Director of Public Prosecutions’ guidance on sexual consent.

Justice System

Create a Women’s Justice Board, modelled on the Youth Justice Board, to improve rehabilitation of female offenders.

Standing up for Liberal values

Prioritise support, protection and equal rights for women and girls, which is essential for effective, sustainable economic development. We will pursue an International Gender Equality Strategy, work to secure women’s rights to education and freedom from forced marriage; and aim to end female genital mutilation worldwide within a generation.


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