MARY Macpherson, Wharfedale Labour’s Women’s Officer, brought back a glowing report from the Labour National Women’s Conference, where a new policy on increased rights on flexible working was introduced.

“I found Conference an uplifting and exhausting experience but am very glad I went,” she said. “I was impressed at the diversity of the women attending and the powerful stories they had to tell of their experiences as women fighting for their rights in modern Britain.”

Mary, who attended as the delegate for Shipley Labour said: “There were motions debated on Women in the Workforce and Early Years, Education and Childcare, amongst others. I was particularly impressed by the speech from Dawn Butler, the Shadow Women & Equalities Secretary who roused the conference with her motto of “Encourage! Empower! Educate!” and set out Labour’s new policy of extending rights on flexible working from day one of employment.”

International Women’s Day was on Friday and Mary said how powerfully women from Zimbabwe, South Africa and Ghana spoke at the conference about the situation for women in their respective countries. “Listening to them made me realise how comparatively lucky we are in this country and how as women we must come together and fight for the rights of all women and girls, as the abuse they suffer is appalling! International Women’s Day is an important part of bringing attention to such issues.”

Wharfedale Labour Candidate Chris Hayden said: “Labour fully supports International Women’s Day. I am particularly pleased at the policy announced at the National Women’s Conference on giving all the right to flexible working from the first day of work. We estimate it can significantly boost the economy and help women with caring responsibilities to gain work.”