The co-founder of the Women's Equality Party (WEP) spoke to a group of around 40 people at Waterstones Brighton on Thursday night (March 23), to promote her new book 'Attack of the Fifty Foot Women'.
Catherine Mayer, who set up the party with Sandi Toksvig in 2015, discussed the important role WEP has played in influencing other parties' policies in promoting equality in the workplace, education, transport and other areas.
After winning more than 350,000 votes at its first election, the party's fight against gender discrimination has encouraged other politicians (such as London mayor Sadiq Khan) to amend their own approach, Ms Mayer said.
“We changed the conversation and we forced gender equality onto the political radar and up the agenda,” said Ms Mayer, who signed copies of her book and answered questions from the audience on subjects including body image, Donald Trump and workplace discrimination.
Five of the 40 or so audience members were male, and Ms Mayer spoke of the vital role men play in promoting equality in every day life.
Paul Milnes, a writer and founding member of the WEP, said: “The change in men is really important. If you don't change the minds of the people in power, nothing will change at all. Nobody's got anything to lose from feminism.”
Mari Brooker, a children's advocate from Portslade, commented on the issue of academies and their freedom to opt out of the national curriculum.
“We need proper PSHE at school,” she said.
Other audience members cited feelings of disenfranchisement with the current state of politics as reasons for attending the book launch, and were hoping for a new political direction to bring about change.
Catherine Mayer's book 'Attack of the Fifty Foot Women' is on sale now.
For more information about the WEP, visit: www.womensequality.org.uk