Rosie Cooper MP brought 15 West Lancashire women together for a 'What Women Want' discussion on an extensive range of issues affecting women in their day-to-day lives.
Attending the event were women involved in the business, education, health, law-enforcement, charity and voluntary sector, and community sectors, all with different experiences, different areas of expertise and interests and different ages. They met at Christ Church Ministry Centre in Aughton on Friday 7 March 2014.
The event was an opportunity for West Lancashire's first female Member of Parliament to listen to local women on any and all issues they felt important and wanted to discuss. During the conversation issues such as mental health, childcare, employment, support for people who are lonely and isolated, the media pressure on young women and girls and how they look, and domestic violence were all discussed.
Speaking after the event, West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
"I would like to thank each of the women who got involved in the West Lancashire 'What Women Want' event. Through their openness we had a very wide-ranging, enjoyable and constructive discussion on many issues that are affecting women here in West Lancashire. No doubt most of these issues will be replicated in communities across the country.
"Round the table we had a real cross-section of knowledge, experience and perspectives which gave our conversation a real breadth and depth. An hour was certainly not enough time to cover every issue in detail. For me, this is very much the start of an ongoing conversation, which will include more and more women across West Lancashire having their say.
"It is great that International Women's Day is both a celebration and a focal point that encourages us to hold events like 'What Women Want' roundtable discussions. I for one will certainly take a huge amount away from the event.”
One of the event attendees, Stella Connell of the Birchwood Centre said:
"Thanks to Rosie for hosting such an interesting and worthwhile event to mark International Women's Day. Very rarely is there an opportunity to sit down in a forum like this with other women with such varied backgrounds and have a focussed discussion on issues affecting women. It was great to meet new people and to hear the different perspectives they had on issues important to us all.”