Analysis: Brexit and the gender factor, were women left out of the debate?
The result is out, Britain will exit from the European Union. But why were women in Great Britain largely underrepresented in the debate? The reluctance of Home Secretary Theresa May has been a major argument in the debate. The fact that women who speak their mind out are silenced as mercilessly as Jo Cox was adds to the fears of women in exercising free choice. Apart from the late Jo, the only female campaigners were: Theresa May, Priti Patel, Valerie Vaz and Emma Reynolds. Talking to ShethePeople.TV in the aftermath of the result declaration, is London-based journalist Sophie Warnes:
Notably absent from either side has been Home Secretary Theresa May – she didn’t publicly take a position on the referendum and to my knowledge she still hasn’t come out in public and said anything about the referendum
Sexuality was also another important point of focus. Apparently both the ‘exit’ and ‘remain’ sides wanted women safe and felt a need for their protection. The team siding with EU argued that women had better equality in pay and compensation, parental rights, protection from sexual harassment and other rights because of it’s presence; people like Nigel Farage who argued against it expressed that women need to protected most by the sexual attacks of migrant population as reported by RT. Perhaps he did not understand that women are attacked – indigenous or migrant – irrespective of the race.
Ironically, here is the quote by British Future that did media rounds almost a week before the referendum actually took place:
Evidence suggests that women may be more Eurosceptic than men, and more difficult to persuade to vote for Leave
Popular British celebrities like Daniel Craig, Salman Rushdie, Tim Farron, JK Rowling, Bear Grylls, David Beckham and Prime Minister David Cameron were of the opinion that they should stick with the EU, though Cameron later changed his position. Further explaining the nightmare of a situation that UK is in, Sophie explains:
Broadly speaking the referendum campaign preyed very much on people’s fears about immigration and the longstanding notion that the EU is some monstrous bureaucratic nightmare which does lots of things we wouldn’t agree with. Of course, that isn’t true. But I don’t believe that either the Remain or Leave campaign were very effective at actually explaining what really happens between us and the EU, which is a shame.
David Cameron changed his position on the EU, because he was afraid that there would be a backbench revolt. The rise of Nigel Farage and Ukip, and their demands for a referendum inadvertently pushed Cameron into a corner – it is clear that he genuinely thought he would win in the campaign and that we would vote for Remain, but he took a gamble and it went wrong. He wanted to appease his own party, and what he has inadvertently done is tanked our economy, made Scotland even more likely to vote for independence, and prompt Sinn Fein to look at bringing Northern Ireland back into the Republic. As mistakes go, it’s quite impressive.
What is now to follow is a process of negotiations, which, in the words of Angela Merkel as quoted by BBC, will happen “as soon as possible, however painful that process may be“.