WPUK was started in September 2017 to ensure women’s voices were heard in the Westminster and Scottish Government consultations on proposals to reform the Gender Recognition Act. You can read the campaign’s original 5 demands here.
We expected our campaign to be short but as awareness grew, so did the time frames for the Government’s considerations of the proposed reforms. We are delighted that so many women’s groups and individuals responded to the Government and that our voices were heard.
You can read our submission to the UK GRA consultation here.
You can read our submission to the Scottish Government GRA consultation here.
You can read our response to the announcement by Minister for Women Liz Truss MP on the UK Government’s proposals here.
The campaign on the GRA shone a light on the very high levels of misogyny, sexism and discrimination that women still face. At this point, we decided to develop into a broader campaign for women’s rights.
You can read our resolutions here.
You can read our manifesto here.
WPUK is run by unpaid volunteers who commit their time and energy to this campaign on top of jobs and other responsibilities. We have no office or paid staff. We are a self-funding campaign. Initially, all costs were paid for by members of the campaign. Subsequently, our funding has come largely from ticket sales for our meetings and donations on-line through our PayPal account.
You can read our funding statement here.
Due to Covid-19, we have had no physical meetings since our conference in February 2020, and we are unlikely to do so for the time being. The costs of running our campaign have therefore reduced. We have encouraged our supporters to make donations to vital women’s services in the interim instead of donating money to us. We have also made three such donations amounting to £6,000 from income generated by our public meetings.
Financial Statement January 2018-October 2020
As we reach the end of the year, we are issuing a financial statement for the period January 2018 to October 2020. The figures can be found at the end of this statement.
Contrary to the claims of our detractors, we are not funded by the far or religious right; nor would we ever seek, or knowingly accept, any such funding. We do not support alliances with any forces which we believe are detrimental to the pursuit of women’s rights. We have made our position very clear in several pieces published on our website here, here and here as well as in our evidenced commitment to a class-based, anti-racist liberatory campaign for women’s rights.
Given the anti-woman position of many far or religious right-wing groups and their desire to attack LGBT and women’s reproductive rights, it is simply fanciful to suggest that they would want to use their money to fund our activities.
We take pride in being a grassroots campaign funded largely by our supporters. Our average donation is £24.39. Some people make one-off donations; others make regular contributions.
WPUK has also been in receipt of some larger sums: ·
- £3,000 grant from the Lush Charity Pot towards events organisation
- £5,000 donation from a vetted individual to establish a legal fund
In July 2020, we received an anonymous donation of £5,000 direct into our bank account which we have quarantined for a year pending verification.
It is important to us that we know where our donations come from. We have therefore made a decision that we will not accept very large donations and will return any such donation over £500 unless the source has been verified and/or sought by us for a specific purpose or project.
We have published the following statement on our website:
“Please note that we cannot accept very large donations. Any donation of more than £500 will be returned to the donor. We would encourage anyone wishing to make such a donation to make it direct to organisations in the women’s sector who are in dire need of funds. Our recommended organisations are listed above.”
In addition, we received a consultancy fee of £20,000 from Oxford University to support research into women’s sex based rights as part of the Women and Equalities Law: Historical Perspectives project which was funded by Strategic Priority QR funding allocated to Oxford University.
The facts and figures are clear
WPUK have managed to run a successful and growing campaign for women’s rights on a small budget sourced almost entirely from individual women and men who support us in what we do.
This truth may be inconvenient for our detractors but it says something remarkable about the power of grassroots activism. It may feel as if other better funded and better connected organisations have the upper hand in influencing policy making and employing political agency. But the work of thousands of people across the UK in many different grassroots groups has demonstrated that it is possible to make your voice heard by those in power and to assert your rights.
We are determined to prove that a democracy works best when it is driven by its own people, not when it is in yoke to biased funders or dodgy donors.
We are grateful to everyone who has supported our campaign either financially or with the volunteering of time and expertise. It is hard work speaking truth to power, and we know that it is often done at great personal cost, but it must be done if we are to build a society in which everyone’s rights are respected and upheld.
As Margaret Mead famously said:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”
1st December 2020 Funding Statement
Period: Jan 2018 – end Oct 2020
Average donation: £24.39
Average donation per individual: £77.02*
*some supporters make regular monthly donations
Includes two large donations:
£5k – donation from vetted individual to set up legal fund
£5k – anonymous donation, currently quarantined pending verification
Event ticket sales: £42,430.83
Tickets for local meetings and WLM conference 2020
Grants and fees: £23,250
£3,000 – grant from Lush towards events organisation
£20,000 – University of Oxford project consultancy fee
£250 – Spectator fee
Collections and merchandise sales: £6,558.95
Miscellaneous receipts: £3,177.01
FPFW contribution to sports meeting, reimbursement of cancelled venue fees
Meeting costs – £56,037.53
Includes venue hire, security, filming, speaker fees, travel and accommodation, childcare, insurance
Donations to women’s organisations: £6000
£2,000 each to Centre for Women’s Justice, nia, Southall Black Sisters
Legal fees: £5270
Printing and stationery: £7,586.17
Includes manifesto print run, leaflets, conference bands and t-shirts, stationery
Event organiser fees: £2095.92
Fee for administration and organisation of WL2020
Merchandise production: £1,614
Badge production costs
Purchase of equipment: £1,362.97
Purchase of computer, camera, hard drive etc.
Web development and maintenance: £1,750
Web services subscriptions: £1,815.02
Zoom, Mailchimp fees
PO Box rental, manifesto postage etc.
Banner production: £669.20
Production costs for 3 banners WPUK
*Licence Fee: £40
*Malicious fraud: £750
Recovered via bank and accounted for in miscellaneous receipts
*Miscellaneous Expenditure: £100
*These items were omitted in error on first publication of this statement
1st December 2020