Emma Ko, first ever Women’s Equality Party candidate in Brent: Do you know your company’s gender pay gap?

Emma Ko is standing for election in Brent. Picture: James Royall

Emma Ko is standing for election in Brent. Picture: James Royall - Credit: Archant

A Women’s Equality Party (WEP) candidate standing in Queen’s Park wants everyone to know their employer’s gender pay gap.

Screenwriter Emma Ko is one of 27 WEP candidates across the country standing in the upcoming elections, and the only one in Brent.

“I’m not a seasoned politician – this is not a career move for me,” she told the Times. “I’m doing this because I believe everyone should have the freedom to live well and many people don’t.

“The burden of raising children or caring for parents is still mostly carried by women and still goes unaccounted for in our economy. They are considered duties, not work. Yet they form the foundation of our society.”

Emma concedes she is running on ideological grounds rather than on council-specific issues.

She does not seem concerned that more experienced politicians might be better equipped to handle the responsibilities of holding office.

“I’ve never done politics before. I’m happy to admit that there is a lot I don’t know,” she says.

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“Recycling, roads, potholes – of course these are important and I would defend residents’ rights on these issues.

“But it’s also important to change the conversation about inequality in our society.”

On the whole, Emma says she is receiving a positive response, although there are still some who are reluctant.

Instead of a local manifesto, the WEP is using its manifesto from the 2017 general election.

This features an eight-point plan “for a flourishing economy and a society that works better for everyone” and includes policies like shared parental leave, addressing the gender pay gap and free universal child care.

It’s not clear how these policies would be implemented in a council context.

“People don’t have to vote just for me,” Emma adds. “There are three seats [in the ward]. I just want one of them. We just want the chance to start putting these issues on the agenda.”

WEP leader Sophie Walker will be canvassing with Emma in Brent on Monday.

Brent and Kilburn Times publisher Archant reported a mean gender pay gap favouring men of 11 per cent in 2017, but a bonus pay gap favouring women of 8.5pc.