Women carry on fight for gender diversity at Alcester Court Leet - The Redditch Standard

Women carry on fight for gender diversity at Alcester Court Leet

WOMEN calling for gender diversity in the Alcester Court Leet are carrying on their fight after the historic organisation refused to reform its men-only rules.

Residents Emma Randle and Kathrin Foster are continuing to challenge the centuries-old Court Leet – whose ceremonial tradition is derived from the historic civil courts of England – and thought to be the only one of 22 across the country that does not allow women to vote or stand for any positions.

The campaigners spoke out at the organisation’s AGM last year, urging High Bailiff Paul Stephens to reform the structure to include women.

However Mr Stephens accused the women of ‘diminishing’ the tradition to a ‘sexist movement’.

But that was something Kathrin was quick to refute.

She said: “This is absolutely not true. The group have at every opportunity stated its support of the great work Alcester Court Leet does, the volunteers that give up their time and effort they put in.

“We want to enhance that and help it to meet the challenges of the 21st century whilst maintaining links to the past – Bromsgrove, Henley and Warwick Court Leets are thriving through their diversity and inclusivity.

“Every other Court Leet in the country – apart from one other – has found a way to involve men and women equally.

“Alcester Court Leet has modified its tradition from being an institution of white church-going men to allowing men of any ethnicity and faith. There is no reason for continuing to discriminate on gender in 2020.”

To continue their fight, the women have launched ‘Equa-Leety 4 Alcester’ on Facebook which has attracted some 80 members.

Kathrin added: “The campaign has resulted in an overwhelming response from residents, men as well as women, and they have come up with a whole host of ideas about how the group can raise awareness.

“We are in agreement that there will be no disruption of Court Leet charitable events.

“This is about opening a debate including letting people know what the Court Leet is about and what it represents.”


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