General Election 2024: building a just world

7 June 2024

In our 2024 General Election manifesto, we're calling on the next UK Government – whoever that may be – to put women's and girls’ rights at the heart of their policy-making and funding commitments.

In our manifesto, we set out our demands for the next government in Westminster.

In our manifesto, we set out our demands for the next government in Westminster. Photo: Unsplash

In just four weeks’ time, the UK will go to the polls to decide who will form our next Government.  

Whoever wins, they will face an imposing list of challenges to address - whether that’s the cost of living crisis, the climate emergency or a growing number of conflicts, including the devastating crisis still taking place in Gaza. 

In all of these crises, women and girls are impacted uniquely. At the same time, women and girls all over the world are experiencing attacks on our freedoms and rights.

Women and girls driving change

Despite these threats, women and girls are driving change by leading the responses to the challenges the world faces.  

That’s why in our General Election Manifesto we’re calling for the next UK Government – whoever that may be – to put women's and girls’ rights at the heart of their policy-making and funding commitments.  

This will require political courage but with a radically different approach, a just world is possible.  

What action do we want from the next UK Government?

In times of crisis and conflict, the inequalities women face are made worse – with reduced access to services and an increase in all forms of exploitation and violence.  

But because of the long-standing and trusted place women's and girls' organisations hold in their communities, they are in the best position to understand – and find the solutions to – the root causes of the challenges they face. 

Without them, it would be impossible to identify and deliver the life-saving services women, girls and other marginalised groups’ need – especially in times of crisis – and advocate for our rights.  

Shifting power and resources to women’s rights organisations must be a priority for next UK Government. Crucially, the next Government must also meet the UK’s existing international obligations on gender equality – including delivering on, and going beyond, the UK’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and Women and Girls Strategy. 

A fair and feminist economy  

Our economic system is failing. Prioritising economic growth at all costs, boosting corporate profits and supporting the privatisation of public services has not eradicated poverty and inequality.  

For women and girls, our economic approach also completely undervalues our paid and unpaid care work and the vital role in plays in our society and economy.  

When public services are privatised or cut because of economic policies like austerity, women are triply impacted - as workers in the public sector, as the primary users of public services and when our unpaid care is used to plug the gap left by unavailable or unaffordable services.  

At ActionAid, we’ve long championed feminist economic alternatives. The next UK Government must recognise the central role of women’s paid and unpaid care work and champion economic policies that prioritise wellbeing, human rights and the planet.  

Part of this approach must include introducing new UK legislation on business, human rights and the environment, which would place a legal requirement on all UK companies to prevent human rights and environmental harms taking place as a result of their activities.  

Delivering a feminist climate transition

The climate emergency is affecting us all, but it is not impacting us all equally. Gender inequality is made worse by climate change - for example, women are disproportionately affected by undernutrition after droughts, and girls are more likely to drop out of school following extreme weather events. 

But women and girls also have the knowledge and expertise that can be used in climate action, and we know that women’s involvement in decision-making results in more effective solutions.   

It’s vital then that the next UK Government builds strong partnerships with the women’s rights organisations that are leading initiatives on adaption and resilience to climate change.  

Since the UK is also at the heart of the global financial sector, the next UK Government must also ensure that international banks are held accountable for – and stop – the human rights and environmental harms caused by their supply chains. 

Take action

Will you take action and ask the next UK government to build a fair, feminist economy? Read our full 2024 General Election manifesto, and please sign our open letter calling on the next government to prioritise women's and girls’ rights. 

Sign the open letter