This week we heard the Prime Minister in the Liaison Committee talk about the importance of looking at the way Parliament operates going forward. There have been some huge advances in the way we, like many others, can work flexibly, and I know this has helped many female MPs with caring responsibilities during the pandemic and those who are shielding. It has been a great example of how things can adapt in a crisis and I hope we learn some really useful lessons for the future. I did not have the opportunity to grill the PM this time, having taken part in the previous session, but I did manage to watch much of it on Parliament TV. There is a strict allocation of time and I knew I would not be included this time, but I was pleased to hear Sarah Champion raise the issue of the Government’s commitment via the Aid Budget to contributing to 12 years of education for girls across the globe.
On Saturday, for what seems like the first time in a year, I am off on a charity walk in aid of Endometriosis South Coast. All the walkers will be carefully distanced or in their own household bubbles, and I am only doing the stretch that passes through my constituency as the walkers hike from The Princess Anne to Gunwharf Quays. March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, which recognises the 176 million women worldwide who suffer from this disease. 1 in 10 women are affected by it yet all too often society considers it a taboo. Hopefully my March fitness campaign means I won’t find the stroll from the Princess Anne to the constituency boundary too much of a struggle.
In Parliament I have been pressing the issue of the Government needing to look at the cultures underpinning male violence against women. Nobody likes to talk about porn, but the reality is lost of people are watching increasingly extreme porn that is so easily available on the internet. I highlighted the Government’s own report which was finally published earlier this year, although dating back to February 2020, which concluded there was a clear relationship between pornography and harmful sexual behaviours. The Select Committee will be looking at this in the coming weeks, however uncomfortable it may be.