Women's Commission

Women's Commission

The purpose of Bristol's Women's Commission and its members.

Key purpose

The Mayor of Bristol acknowledges that:

  • equality of women and men is a fundamental right
  • to ensure this equality, multiple discrimination and disadvantage must be addressed
  • the balanced participation of women and men in decision making is a pre-requisite of a democratic society
  • the Equality Act 2010 requires public bodies to identify and address the impact of their policies, plans and practices on women

However, women in Bristol don't have equality of opportunity in work, public, social or family life. Bristol won't meet its vision and achieve its full potential if the experience, know-how, skills and creativity of women aren't fully taken into account.

The purpose of the Women's Commission is to work as a partnership to identify the key issues for women in Bristol and to produce an agreed Women's Strategy for Bristol, with a specific, time limited and practical action plan for its delivery.

The Women's Commission has established multi-agency task groups from members' organisations and other organisations and individuals in the city:

  • Women's Safety
  • Women's Representation in Public Life
  • Women's Health
  • Women and the Economy
  • Women in Business

These groups produce in-depth reports with evidence and recommendations which are fed back to the Women's Commission. Accepted recommendations form part of the action plan.

The Bristol Women's Strategy will be the mechanism by which the City demonstrates its progress on meeting the obligations of the European Municipalities and Regions Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life. Delivering an inclusive economy post COVID-19.

Delivering an inclusive economy post COVID-19

The Delivering an inclusive economy post COVID-19 report (pdf, 379KB) (opens new window) shows how a care led economy would support wellbeing and fully use the skills, experience and knowledge of women in Bristol.

This is a practical, evidenced based report on actions that employers and decision makers need to take to renew Bristol's economy in a way that is inclusive, fair and sustainable. 

The report was produced by Women's Commission Women and Economy Task Group, with the support of the Women and Business Group.

Councillor Helen Godwin, Cabinet Member for Women, Children and Young People, comments:

“This is an excellent report with a clear case for doing things differently post Covid-19. A truly inclusive economy must have gender equality at its heart, not only because this is fair and just, but, as the report makes clear, because this will ensure economic growth that will benefit everyone.”

Bristol Women's Commission supporting information

Bristol, a zero tolerance city

The Women's Commission is leading the campaign for Bristol to become a city with zero tolerance to gender-based violence, abuse and exploitation.

Bristol Women in Business Charter

The Women in Business group have released a Women in Business Charter.

The aim of this charter is to support businesses in becoming gender equal. All Bristol businesses can sign up and support the charter.

Members of the Women's Commission

  • Penny Gane, Chair of Bristol Women's Commission
  • Cherene Whitfield, Equality and Inclusion Team, Bristol City Council
  • Katy Taylor, Director, Bristol Women's Voice 
  • Diane Bunyan, Chair of Economy Task Group
  • Anna Smith, Co-Chair and Chair of Safety Task Group, One25 
  • Monira Chowdhury, Co-Chair of Health Task Group, North Bristol NHS Trust 
  • Sarah O'Leary, Co-Chair of Health Task Group, Next Link Housing 
  • Marian Curran, Co-Chair of Education Task Group, Principal at St. Brendans College
  • Laura Beynon, Co-Chair of Education Task Group, Department Head at Redmaids High
  • Dr. Zara Nanu, Chair of Business Task Group, GapSquare
  • Councillor Lesley Alexander, Conservative Party, Bristol City Council              
  • Councillor Kerry Bailes, Labour Party, Bristol City Council 
  • Councillor Ani Stafford-Townsend, Green Party, Bristol City Council
  • Councillor Sarah Classick, Lib Dem Party, Bristol City Council
  • Ann James, Director Children and Families Services, Bristol City Council 
  • Andrea Dell, One City, Head of City Office
  • Lorna Dallimore, Avon and Somerset Police
  • Helen Mott, Independent Consultant
  • Joanne Kaye, Trade Union Congress
  • Sarah Purdy, Vice-Chancellor University of Bristol
  • Kalpna Woolf, Be on Board
  • Sandra Meadows, CEO, Voscur
  • Amanda Coffey, Deputy Vice Chancellor, UWE    
  • Michelle Smith, CCG, Clinical Comm. Group
  • Deborah El-Sayed, Clinical Comm. Group
  • Joanne Ward, Head of Staff City of Bristol College
  • Victoria Matthews, Initative Manager, Business West
  • Sophie Fernandes, University, Hospital, and Western NHS Hospital
  • Sue Arrowsmith, First Bus representative