Gender and Politics in the media

UK: Duncan warns PM against ‘token women’. IRE: Gender representativeness on the march. AU: Vote for woman with sex appeal, says AU leader.


Talented: Mr Duncan’s boss Justine Greening

Don’t promote ‘token’ women at expense of talented men in cabinet …Daily Mail Aid minister Alan Duncan has urged David Cameron to avoid the ‘tokenistic’ promotion of women at the forthcoming Cabinet reshuffle.

He claimed that it would be wrong to give women top departmental jobs at the expense of more talented or experienced men.

Mr Duncan, Parliament’s first openly gay MP, said: ‘I never wanted to be a token gay and now things have progressed so there is no need for it. Nobody should want to be a token woman.’

Some male Conservative MPs are concerned that the drive to promote women means they will be overlooked.

Alan Duncan warns PM against promoting ‘token women’ Financial Times 

David Cameron should avoid promoting women in the forthcoming reshuffle at the expense of more talented or experienced men, one of his senior ministers has …

Bubble, what bubble? PM and Osborne ‘trusted’ on economy The Week UK BRITAIN could be heading for another house price bubble but David Cameron and George Osborne are unlikely to be worried after a poll in The Guardian this …

Political gender representativeness now on the march Village Only 13.8% of our TDs are women but they must comprise at least 30% of candidates at the next general  election – Senator Ivana Bacik The 2009 report found that women were being excluded from participation in political life by the “5 Cs”: Culture, Cash, Childcare, Confidence, and the Candidate Selection Procedures. International research shows that political-party candidate-selection tends to exclude women from nomination. One key recommendation in the report was that legislation should require political parties to select a minimum proportion of candidates of each gender. This was based on successful similar initiatives in Belgium and Spain.

This proposed change has now become law through the Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012. The ‘opportunity quota’ law ensures that voters will be given greater opportunity to elect a woman. It leaves the choice to the electorate, in contrast to the type of ‘result quota’ laws which require a minimum number of women to be elected.


Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and Liberal candidate Fiona Scott pose with the campaign bus. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

‘Young, feisty and with sex appeal’ Sydney Morning Herald ”What it demonstrates is that for the Coalition, female politicians are just accessories. They don’t take them seriously and the fact that Tony Abbott in the midst of …

Vote for woman with sex appeal, says Australian opposition leader The Independent ….If you aspire to be Prime Minister and already have a reputation for sexism, deserved or not, it probably isn’t a wise idea to cite “sex appeal” as a leading attribute of one of your female candidates.

Australia’s opposition leader, Tony Abbott, probably already knew that – but he got carried away by “exuberance” while campaigning in a key marginal constituency with his Liberal Party candidate, Fiona Scott, he explained later.

Asked what Ms Scott had in common with Jackie Kelly, the former Liberal MP for the seat of Lindsay, in western Sydney, Mr Abbott replied: “They’re young, they’re feisty – I think I can probably say, [they] have a bit of sex appeal.”

The remark by the Liberal leader – who was accused of sexism and misogyny by the former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, in a celebrated speech to parliament last year – caused a predictable Twitter storm and was condemned by his rivals. “He really is pathetic,” said a Labor minister, Kim Carr. “Sometimes we should think he really hasn’t crawled out of the 1950s.”

Banning exports a vote winner The Australian Women are more inclined than men to change their vote if a policy platform pledges a stop to live exports, with three-quarters of all female voters “likely” or …

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