On Tuesday afternoon there was a debate in the Commons Chamber to mark International Women's Day. Jess Phillips, the Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, took the opportunity to focus the House's attention on the pervasive problem of domestic violence:
In 2015, a woman was murdered in the UK every three days—women murdered by men who they should have been able to trust. Commonly, women are murdered by their partners, husbands or boyfriends, but also in some cases by their fathers, sons or brothers. We wish to give voice to honour the women who died.
Today, I stand to honour every victim in the fight to end violence against women. Here are the names of the women who have died since International Women’s Day last year: Lucy Ayris, aged 25; Alison Wilson, 36; Janet Muller, 21; Sarah Pollock, 41; Jill Goldsmith, 49; Zaneta Balazova, 23; Cecilia Powell, 95; Marian Smith, 74; Violet Price, 80; Karen Buckley, 24; Susan Davenport, 63; Sandra Thomas, 57; Sarah Fox, 27; Bernadette Fox, 57; Aileen Bell, 60; Frances Cleary-Senior, 49; Tracey Woodford, 47; Mariola Cudworth, 36; Anna Rosenberg, 43; Wendy Milligan, 46; Gloria Perring, 76; Mahala Rhodes, 42; Marta Ligman, 23; Emma Crowhurst, 36; Joanna Doman, 55; Shigi Rethishkumar, 35; Neha Rethishkumar, 13; Niya Rethishkumar, 13; Grace Kissell, 33; Jan Jordon, 48; Ramute Butkiene, 42; Anne Dunkley, 67; Phyllis Hayes, 65; Nazia Akhtar, 31; Nadia Khan, 24; Jennifer Edwards, 45; Stacey Henderson, 35; Rita Stephens, 67; Jennifer Williams, 25; Amy Smith, 17; Anita Kapoor, 34; Linda Norcup, 46; Lisa Anthony, 47; Ava Anthony, 14; Lorraine Barwell, 54; Laura Davies, 21; Tracey Baker, 42; Florisse Corette, 81; Jill Moon, 62; Isobel “Becky” Parker, 23; Gillian Phillips, 54; Amal Abdi, 21; Jenny Foote, 38; Miriam Nyazema, 35; Denisa Silman, 25; Jennifer Dornan, 30; Jan Bennett, 67; Laura Holden, 36; Elife Bequ, 34; Katelyn Parker, 24; Elizabeth Nnyanzi, 31; Wendy Mann, 26; Lauren Masters, 20; Sam Ho, 39; Natalia Strelchenko, 38; Julie Collier, 55; Karen Reid, 53; Petra Atkinson, 42; Anne-Marie Cropper, 47; Nicola Cross, 37; Shelley Saxton-Cooper, 45; Sarrah Garba, 27; Jourdain John-Baptiste, 22; Maxine Showers, 42; Helen Lancaster, 54; Malgorzata Marczak, 29; Usha Patel, 44; Leighanne Cameron, 29; Imelda Molina, 49; Kerry Reeves, 26; Christine Tunnicliffe-Massey, 57; Bianca Shepherd, 58; Barbara Barniecka, 43; Kayleigh Haywood, 15; Susan Mitchelson, 45; Kelly Pearce, 36; Jean Robertson, 85; Wendy Goodman, 48; Josephine Williamson, 83; Sian Roberts, 36; Hilda Mary Oakland, 71; Ravinder Jutla, 43; Jackie Abbott, 54; Lija Aroustamova, 52; Mumtaz Member, 56; Sian Blake, 43; Kathleen Griffin, 57; Mambero Ghebreflafie, 22; Daria Pionko, 21; Katie Locke, 23; Rita King, 81; Marjorie Elphick, 83; Katy Rourke, 25; Katrina O’Hara, 44; Georgina Symonds, 25; Lisa Lyttle, 49; Andrea Lewis, 51; India Chipchase, 20; Guida Rufino, 38; Elidona Demiraj, 25; Geraldine Newman, 51; Caroline Andrews, 52; Sheila Jefferson, 73; Leanne Wall, 36; Jessica McGraa, 37; Maria Byrne, 35; Lisa Reynolds, 31; Natasha Bradbury, 28; Julie Hill, 51; and Rose Hill, 75.
It was a moving and powerful contribution and, unusually for the House of Commons, was received with applause. In my intervention in Mim Davies's speech, I reminded the House that the women's suffrage movement of the early twentieth-century secured political representation for working class men as well as women:
Everyone knows that women were given the vote at the end of the 1914-18 war, but that cloaked the fact that working-class men were also given the vote. Does the hon. Lady, like me, celebrate the fact that women, through their campaigning, also led to those men accessing the vote? That should never be forgotten.
Ms Davies agreed:
I always think that women campaigning do make things generally better for men. We must be reminded of the power that women have at the ballot box.