International Women’s Day: Blog by Mark Hall councillor Lanie Shears

News / Wed 8th Mar 2023 at 05:03pm

TO many of us it seems we have spent a lifetime of campaigning and fighting for women’s rights, marching, writing letters, signing petitions etc. 

It was in March 1911, the first International Women’s Day was held, with more than 1 million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland taking part.

It took until 1975 for the United Nations to recognise and then UN begin celebrating International Women’s Day.

From the match girls strike in 1888 to the Suffragettes to the “Me-Too” movement in 2023, women fight on. Equality/ Equity have not been reached for all women. We still have a gender pay gap. Women are more likely to experience domestic abuse than men and more women are raped and murdered than men.

After 20 plus years working in the field of Domestic Abuse, I decided to go into local politics not because I was a woman, but because I wanted to try and make a difference. As a woman, local politics isn’t always the most comfortable place to be. If I am totally honest, I have encountered some misogyny.

It can be challenging, but it is also very rewarding.  I enjoy the opportunity and the platform it gives me to support residents.  I would like to see more women entering local politics we have a lot to offer and can inspire change. 

On November 9th 2022 I lost the most inspirational woman in my life, my mother. She raised me to be independent, to be strong and to speak up for myself and, where needed, for others.  I want to take this opportunity to thank her for her inspiration.  

I look at inspirational women in my life and am proud of each one of them. I am also proud of myself for fighting and not staying silent on issues that are not always easy to challenge. 

So “Here’s to Strong Women: May We Know them. May We Be Them. May We Raise Them” – source unknown.

Happy International Women’s Day to women the world over, as Maya Angelou said we are all phenomenal women. 

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5 Comments for International Women’s Day: Blog by Mark Hall councillor Lanie Shears:

James Griggs
2023-03-08 17:22:49

Well said Lanie. You are truly phenomenal and I couldn’t be more proud to call you a friend.

Sarah Grey
2023-03-08 19:15:13

It’s all well and good chanting this stuff , but when it comes to the crunch these councillors do nothing! It’s all talk . My friend is living in a scary situation , around dangerous men in a block of flats and the council won’t move her. She’s definitely a priority a d should be placed in band one to move, and they won’t put her in band one to get her out of this situation where she is too scared to put her bins out and walk down the flat stairs . She’s too scared to go out of her flat , due to her next door neighbour, threatening to rape and kill her. The bloke downstairs also ambushed her on the flat stairs last year. She’s living around dangerous men and the council and the police know, and the council are doing nothing to rehome her somewhere safe. You are all full of lies and words and no action. I have no faith in these councillors whatsoever.

David Forman
2023-03-08 20:09:25

I remember Cllr Shears helping Harlow TUC with their Hope not Hate campaign in 2016, standing up for all workers and not letting them be divided by Ukip. All forms of discrimination are the willing servants of the ruling class.

Lanie Shears
2023-03-09 08:30:00

Sarah Grey if your friend lives in Mark Hall ask her to contact me for support, if she doesn't then please ask her to contact her local ward councillor. You can find out who they are on the council website.

S grey
2023-03-09 16:44:27

Ms shear , I did that and they are all men. David Carter is the councillor for her. He did nothing for her and said he tried. So is that it? Even if there are women in the council panel they won’t fight for other women in Harlow ? Is that it? If your local councillor is a man they don’t fight for women?

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