I’m happy to have responded to the request for answers to questions to local candidates from Bristol Womens’ Voice
Martin Fodor, Green Party candidate for Redland
Question 1: In one sentence, what is your personal pitch to the women of Bristol?
I played a very active part in the campaign for Daniella Radice
as the only female Mayoral candidate, and then to get her elected for Bishopston ward – and I am firmly committed to supporting a more balanced proportion of women candidates – which as a Green is ensured through our policy of always ensuring that our leader and deputy leader and our parliamentary candidates are of different gender, for instance – although, clearly we have more to do with ward candidates which as a small party is not as easy.
Question 2: Will you make a clear commitment that if elected you will do everything possible in office to ensure that services for women who have experienced sexual or domestic violence are of a high quality and are not subjected to cuts?
I can certainly make a commitment to protecting these services and ensuring that they are of high quality. I previously supported a local Rape Crisis Centre and lived for several years with a survivor of domestic abuse and a survivor of rape in the past, so the immediate and long term needs of such service users are very clear to me, such as counselling and safe housing. My colleagues have done a lot to support the campaign against FGM led from Bristol; if elected I shall do what I can to ensure the prevalence of sexual and domestic violence is tackled in both the ward and the city. This is also an issue for policing and I was pleased to see that the P&CC Sue Mounstevens had made it a plank of her tenure. Close work between the council, other services, and the police is going to be necessary.
Question 3: Harmful attitudes to women and girls give rise to everyday sexism, to discrimination and to many forms of violence in our city. If elected, will you work with the heads and governors of all the educational establishments in your ward to put prevention on the curriculum?
Yes, if elected I committ to working with heads and governors in the ward to get this on the curriculum and to ensure it is given a sufficiently high profile to all students. This should also be raised with the business sector as well, in my view, as attitudes in the workplace also matter, of course. I have personally visited schools in the past to work with young males when there were lessons run for female students by a local Rape Crisis Centre at the same time. I think things have since got more extreme due to social media and new approaches and techniques will be needed now to expose the bullying and abuse that goes on online. This of course also affects the LGBTQ community.