MP Chloe Smith wants young women to have 'best start in life'

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith - Credit: Richard Townshend Photography

Norwich North MP, Chloe Smith, has been nominated for this year’s 100 Women in Westminster list for 2022. She talks about inspiring others.

International Women’s Day is not just about celebrating the inspirational female figures who have inspired us from the past, but also provides an opportunity to shout about what needs to be done to support the next generation of women.

When I was much younger and still in school, I was frustrated about the lack of public transport in rural Norfolk that stopped me getting on. I wrote to my MP, Gillian Shephard, who encouraged me to get involved in campaigning for change. Since then, I haven’t looked back and have been campaigning for improvements for people in Norfolk since.

Now I am an MP myself, I still remember that feeling of frustration when I hear about injustices. I try to use my position to try to support the next generation, including through my work on the Norwich For Jobs project, which has helped many young women and men overcome problems and get jobs.

Chloe Smith

Chloe Smith - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Ensuring young people in Norwich have the best start in life is one of my key local priorities. Since the 2016 Social Mobility Index, which detailed how young people in the Norwich City Council area have some of the worst life-chances in the country, I have worked hard to try and turn this around. The Norwich Opportunity Area was set up to do this, and as the first chair of its Youth Board, I was inspired by local girls who wanted to change things. There's more: an Education Investment Area will now build on these foundations, bringing more government support to help young people succeed in Norfolk and Norwich. Many will be the city's women of the future.

The life-chances of women and girl can only improve when we are safe. In Parliament, and locally with our police, I support the Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, which includes funding of £27.7m to improve the safety of women in public spaces, £185m for support for victims of violence and investing £11.3m in domestic abuse perpetrator programmes the country.

On International Women’s Day, I continue to support measures that will continue to ensure the safety of girls and women, and help the next generation to succeed.