FOLLOWING International Women’s Day, it’s important to highlight how many of the rights which protect women in Wales have been introduced by the EU – many of which we take for granted.

The EU has done much to protect the rights of women as workers, mothers, citizens and pensioners. Legislation from Europe protects equal pay for equal work, the right to maternity and paternity leave and the right to return to work after having a child. It also ensures zero tolerance to violence against women and equal rights to a pension. These are hard-fought rights which need to be protected.

I’m concerned by right-wing parties who choose to overlook the importance of these protections. This week a UKIP Councillor suggested that business owners “should be able to refuse to serve women”, and added that refusing to serve homosexuals should also be allowed. This goes hand in hand with recent comments from Nigel Farage who claimed women who take time off work to have children are “worth less” to employers than men.

Politicians should be promoting equality and fairness and not just on International Women’s Day. Stirring up prejudice is simply unacceptable.

Jayne Bryant Labour MEP candidate Newport