Women's representation falls again

Progress in women's representation in Britain had stalled or gone backwards, a study has found

Progress in women's representation in Britain had stalled or gone backwards, a study has found

First published in National News © by

Britain has collapsed from 33rd to 65th place on a global league table of women's representation in less than 15 years, a new report has revealed.

The Counting Women In coalition said in 2001, Britain ranked 33rd globally, slipping to 62nd in 2010 and to 65th this year.

In its Sex And Power 2014: Who Runs Britain? study, it concluded progress in women's representation had stalled or gone backwards - highlighting a 3.5% fall in local government leaders, to 13.1%, in the past decade.

The coalition recommended all political parties take steps to increase the number of women candidates, using positive action if necessary, at all levels of elected office.

And it said the media should ensure coverage of politics includes women and their views.

Report author Nan Sloane, director of the Centre for Women and Democracy, said: "If we really care about who has political power in this country we need to do something about the unrepresentative nature of our elected institutions.

"Along with other excluded groups women have already waited for generations for equal access to power, and we're still being asked to wait decades to achieve it. That's not good enough; we need real change now."

Dr Eva Neitzert, deputy chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said: "Elections are a unique opportunity for parties to make a real improvement in the number of women MPs we have.

"We urge the parties to field more women candidates in safe and retirement seats to ensure women are represented equally in their party."

Katie Ghose, chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said: "At the tail-end of this Parliament, we are still not much closer to seeing real gender equality in our politics.

"Despite a headline-grabbing reshuffle earlier this year, the Prime Minister failed to reach his own target of making a third of his ministers female.

"With Britain slipping three places to 65th in the world ranking of parliaments by female representation this year, patience is wearing thin."

Alexandra Runswick, chief executive of Unlock Democracy, said: "It is deeply disappointing that while other countries make progress in improving the representation of women in public life the UK falls even further behind."

Dr Ruth Fox, director of the Hansard Society said: "If the political parties, the government and the media are really serious about tackling this issue then the realistic, practical steps we have outlined could still be implemented in the coming months to improve the culture of politics and the general election campaign."

The Fawcett Society, the Hansard Society, the Electoral Reform Society, the Centre for Women and Democracy and Unlock Democracy joined together in 2011 to form the Counting Women In coalition to address the lack of women in politics.

The group campaigns for the equal presence of women at all levels of elected government in Britain.

Comments (6)

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6:18am Thu 28 Aug 14

Rita Jelfs says...

Doesn't this reflect that 19th century attitudes to women still are alive and well in most of Britain. Until attitudes are changed nothing else will change, eg women are still paid much less than men for the same work in private employment, and girls are not being encouraged by their parents to study science and maths, disadvantaging them in the workforce. But neither Labour nor Conservative governments have introduced effective policies to reverse these disadvantages for females. So the more things change the more they stay the same for some.
Doesn't this reflect that 19th century attitudes to women still are alive and well in most of Britain. Until attitudes are changed nothing else will change, eg women are still paid much less than men for the same work in private employment, and girls are not being encouraged by their parents to study science and maths, disadvantaging them in the workforce. But neither Labour nor Conservative governments have introduced effective policies to reverse these disadvantages for females. So the more things change the more they stay the same for some. Rita Jelfs
  • Score: -3

8:50am Thu 28 Aug 14

Anthony Green says...

Perhaps we need more women in politics, yes. Instead of Prime Ministers Question Time, we should have Recipe time
Perhaps we need more women in politics, yes. Instead of Prime Ministers Question Time, we should have Recipe time Anthony Green
  • Score: 2

12:50pm Thu 28 Aug 14

MSG says...

Rita Jelfs wrote:
Doesn't this reflect that 19th century attitudes to women still are alive and well in most of Britain. Until attitudes are changed nothing else will change, eg women are still paid much less than men for the same work in private employment, and girls are not being encouraged by their parents to study science and maths, disadvantaging them in the workforce. But neither Labour nor Conservative governments have introduced effective policies to reverse these disadvantages for females. So the more things change the more they stay the same for some.
So are you suggesting sexist anti-male policies and women getting jobs to make up quotas and not on merit !
[quote][p][bold]Rita Jelfs[/bold] wrote: Doesn't this reflect that 19th century attitudes to women still are alive and well in most of Britain. Until attitudes are changed nothing else will change, eg women are still paid much less than men for the same work in private employment, and girls are not being encouraged by their parents to study science and maths, disadvantaging them in the workforce. But neither Labour nor Conservative governments have introduced effective policies to reverse these disadvantages for females. So the more things change the more they stay the same for some.[/p][/quote]So are you suggesting sexist anti-male policies and women getting jobs to make up quotas and not on merit ! MSG
  • Score: 3

1:07pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

Rita Jelfs wrote:
Doesn't this reflect that 19th century attitudes to women still are alive and well in most of Britain. Until attitudes are changed nothing else will change, eg women are still paid much less than men for the same work in private employment, and girls are not being encouraged by their parents to study science and maths, disadvantaging them in the workforce. But neither Labour nor Conservative governments have introduced effective policies to reverse these disadvantages for females. So the more things change the more they stay the same for some.
Yes Rita, unfortunately it still seems that science and maths continue to be seen as the preserve of males. Whilst out shopping at a famous supermaket chain recently, I noticed that New Scientist (and actually also The Economist) were filed on the magazine racks under the title 'Men's Interests'!
[quote][p][bold]Rita Jelfs[/bold] wrote: Doesn't this reflect that 19th century attitudes to women still are alive and well in most of Britain. Until attitudes are changed nothing else will change, eg women are still paid much less than men for the same work in private employment, and girls are not being encouraged by their parents to study science and maths, disadvantaging them in the workforce. But neither Labour nor Conservative governments have introduced effective policies to reverse these disadvantages for females. So the more things change the more they stay the same for some.[/p][/quote]Yes Rita, unfortunately it still seems that science and maths continue to be seen as the preserve of males. Whilst out shopping at a famous supermaket chain recently, I noticed that New Scientist (and actually also The Economist) were filed on the magazine racks under the title 'Men's Interests'! Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: -1

2:24pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Rita Jelfs says...

Anthony Green wrote:
Perhaps we need more women in politics, yes. Instead of Prime Ministers Question Time, we should have Recipe time
Anthony, re-read what I said, then join the dots. Use your brain a bit. Can you do that?
[quote][p][bold]Anthony Green[/bold] wrote: Perhaps we need more women in politics, yes. Instead of Prime Ministers Question Time, we should have Recipe time[/p][/quote]Anthony, re-read what I said, then join the dots. Use your brain a bit. Can you do that? Rita Jelfs
  • Score: -1

4:34pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Yemen says...

Rita Jelfs wrote:
Doesn't this reflect that 19th century attitudes to women still are alive and well in most of Britain. Until attitudes are changed nothing else will change, eg women are still paid much less than men for the same work in private employment, and girls are not being encouraged by their parents to study science and maths, disadvantaging them in the workforce. But neither Labour nor Conservative governments have introduced effective policies to reverse these disadvantages for females. So the more things change the more they stay the same for some.
Oh god not the gender pay gap rubbish again .... do you really think if employers could get away with paying a woman less then the unemployed would be entirely men.

cite some FACTS or can this rubbish.
[quote][p][bold]Rita Jelfs[/bold] wrote: Doesn't this reflect that 19th century attitudes to women still are alive and well in most of Britain. Until attitudes are changed nothing else will change, eg women are still paid much less than men for the same work in private employment, and girls are not being encouraged by their parents to study science and maths, disadvantaging them in the workforce. But neither Labour nor Conservative governments have introduced effective policies to reverse these disadvantages for females. So the more things change the more they stay the same for some.[/p][/quote]Oh god not the gender pay gap rubbish again .... do you really think if employers could get away with paying a woman less then the unemployed would be entirely men. cite some FACTS or can this rubbish. Yemen
  • Score: 1
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