More female judges, lessons in schools about how to manage a household budget, and affordable childcare before 8am - these were just some of the items on a wishlist to the government from women across the West Midlands yesterday.
More than 125 women of all ages and backgrounds joined Women's Minister Tessa Jowell and deputy Minister for Women Meg Munn at Birmingham's Hippodrome to share their views on the issues they face in their day-to-day lives and to tell Ministers what they want from Government policy.
Ms Jowell said: " Consultation is the hallmark of democracy. We know that women's and men's views often differ and the impact of our policies on their lives differ too. It is particularly important that we listen to what women think and want."
Among the women who attended was Julie Moore, chief operations officer at University Hospital, Birmingham. She said: "I'm concerned about women's health because of my job, and career development, but as a woman who lives in Birmingham I am also concerned about issues of safety and security for women in a city this big."
Evette Parchment, a nurse, said she was concerned about how shift work affected the work-life balance for those with and without families.
She said: " It's a big improvement that those of us with kids are being offered early shifts, or time off during school holidays, but then who is going to be doing the night shifts? Just because you don't have children doesn't mean you want to work nights all the time, and you shouldn't be treated differently."
Jackie Mpambawashe, a PA, said: "I'm concerned about getting a fair deal for carers - people who look after elderly relatives but are still working full time. Dedicated carers are given an allowance, but what about those in full- time employment who are also caring for an elderly parent?"
The event was the launch of a nationwide debate - Today's Woman - Your Say in the Future - across the UK. It presents the information to the government in April.