We are still waiting to read official party manifestos, but what is clear from the campaign trail so far is that all political leaders are wanting to appeal to female voters.

It is important to start with a reminder to make sure you are registered to vote on 4 July and to check you have the approved photo ID to take with you on the day. 

You have until Tuesday, 18 June (23:59) to register to vote and Wednesday, 26 June (17:00) to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate from your local Electoral Registration Office. It’s free.

I foresee that women across the UK and across different demographic groups will play a significant role in determining who the next prime minister will be. 

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In the 2019 election, there was a 44% Conservative to 35% Labour (YouGov, Dec 2019) female split between the two parties. This marginal gap motivates the Labour party with aspirations to govern and the Liberal Democrat party with real possibilities of making significant gains in traditionally Conservative-held seats.

As Christian women, it is important to know this and utilise this and engage prospective candidates on issues we care deeply about.

As a Christian woman, how can you think faithfully about politics?

We recently published our Thinking faithfully about politics report, and it has been encouraging to hear how organisations, campaign groups and individuals are using the resource to understand the various political daily headlines. 

Between evangelicals and the general public, there are a lot of shared values. For example, there is strong overlap on the top 10 issues (p10), preference on who the prime minister should be (p6) and voting intentions by political parties (p6).

For me, an interesting graph in the report is the difference between evangelical men and women on voting intentions. This is a variable that also plays out in the general public, but for the Christian community I believe it is especially important. Firstly, because as a woman and as a fellow sister in Christ I want to encourage other women to be politically literate on the different policies that directly or indirectly impact us, and secondly, because as women we are a target group for all political parties, so there is a unique opportunity to share our faith perspective on local and national politics.

As women of faith, how can the scriptures help us in scrutinising policy commitments and pledges? 

Voting Intentions by sex

Let these three guiding principles inform the way you vote

1. Compassion towards the most vulnerable in society – Matthew 25:45

Whatever we did for the least of these, Jesus said we did unto Him. Whatever the election results, I will be fine. I might not personally like the outcome, but my wellbeing will largely go unchanged. So, at this election, I want to give my vote to a party committed to children and young people, specifically around education.

Reforming the primary and secondary curriculum is an important issue for me. I believe there is a culture of over-examination in schools and colleges that unnecessarily places pressure on children and young people. 

Schools are an important stage of life to learn about oneself, contribute to social mobility, form friendships and begin to identify interests and skills. In studying the manifestos, I will be looking out for ideas and polices that seek to reform the curriculum, providing work experience in the community and tech and creative sectors, and providing careers advice to prepare children and young people for the work and digital economy.

2. Justice – Isaiah 58:6-7

In my own testimony, I have come to know the justice and mercy of God over my life and have gone on to seek justice for others.

The pandemic has ravaged so many sectors and negatively impacted those close to me, especially friends who are first-time mothers or have an expanding family. The state of maternity care in the UK is a crisis bubbling under the surface, and I desperately long for investment and innovation in the next parliamentary session.

At present, thousands of women each year are experiencing traumatic birth in the UK. Worse still is how women of colour are not receiving adequate care or support through pregnancy. A disproportionate number of women of Black and Asian heritage have died during pregnancy compared to White women.

There are medical practices that leave women excluded from decision-making and accessing the care they deserve as image-bearers, and there is a need for systemic reform within the NHS to adequately address discriminatory policies and health inequalities amongst different ethnicities. There must be health justice for all women!

3. Our God is a God for all nations – Psalm 22:27-28

The last principle is to remember that we worship a God who is Lord of all nations, and so my attention during the campaign will be on political parties’ commitment to promoting international freedom of religion or belief (FoRB).

Today, there are over 365 million Christians globally who experience severe persecution simply for professing that Christ is Lord. They encounter physical harm and exclusion from public services or public life. At this election, I will use my voice to speak up for them. I would like the UK government to advocate for such rights and ensure FoRB is a vital component of partnership, trade and investment.

Under each of these three headings, you might decide a different policy issue matters more to you and so you will vote in a different way to me or other Christian women, and that is fine. The key takeaway is for us all to centre ourselves more on the word of God in the days leading up to polling day, and let the scriptures help us discern who to vote for and which party to support. By all means vote, but vote in such a way that there is a greater affiliation to the kingdom of God than to party colours. 

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