Gender and Politics in the media

UK: Paid parental leave is just a start. Women should vote for independence. Cameron needs more women at the top of the coalition.

UK

Female politicians have made debate ‘much more tempered” but it could still be improved by having more women at the top, says Lady Verma. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

 

David Cameron needs more women at the top of the coalition, says … The Guardian …Female politicians have to work hard to be “noticed and seen” in the “bang-on-tables” world of Westminster, one of David Cameron’s ministers has said.

Lady Verma of Leicester, an energy minister, said the way women have to “raise our tempo” to be heard is an unattractive aspect of politics today.

In an interview with the Guardian, the senior Tory said the presence of more female politicians has made debate “much more tempered” but it could still be improved by having more women right at the top of the coalition.

Asked about the biggest barrier to women in politics, Verma said it was “the way we conduct it”, adding that there are “huge obstacles and challenges”.

Paid parental leave is just a start The Guardian Paid parental leave is great. Eighteen weeks, 26 weeks, whatever. It’s great if it means more parents can stay home for longer in the early months of a child’s life. It’s great to take away some of the financial worries of those early years.

And if it was really paid for by employers, in a similar way to annual leave, then it should certainly be offered at rate of a mother’s normal wage. But that raises another whole pramful of problems – particularly the disincentive to employ women of child-bearing age.

And so the coalition has devised a hybrid scheme where bigger companies foot part of the bill for its more generous paid parental scheme for the indefinite future and the taxpayers make up the (sizeable) difference.

David Cameron accused of failing stay-at-home mothers Telegraph.co.uk Lord Sacks said the Government has failed to encourage marriage following moves to exclude families, where one parent stays at home, from a £1billion scheme to help working parents with the cost of childcare.

He said stay-at-home mothers should be given more support with the cost of looking after their children as more than a million families are set to be left out of the scheme if one parent stays at home full time. Households earning up to £300,000 a year where both parents work will be given vouchers of up to £1,200 a year.

He told The Times: “[The Government] should certainly recognise marriage in the tax system. It should certainly give more support to mothers who stay at home or for child care provision.”

Lord Sacks said he felt the measures did not do enough to encourage marriage. He added: “The State has an interest in marriage because the cost of family breakdown and non-marriage, the last time I looked at it, was estimated at £9 billion a year.”

Women should vote for independence to ensure their children are … Herald Scotland Whenever polls are mentioned in a forecast of votes on independence we are told that Scotland’s women in a vast majority are against change.

This is an open letter to Scotland’s women who think they will be preserving something valuable by voting No.

Let me ask you one question. For all of you who have children, would you wish your children when they are grown up to continue living in your own home, however comfortable and caring it may be, or would you love them enough to set them free, make their own lives and determine their own future as responsible adults?

AU 

Tony Abbot’s secret weapon in Australia election: his two daughters Telegraph.co.uk …But as the battle heats up for next month’s elections, he has two strong defences to … “She’s a rather plain, ordinary-looking woman and Abbott has exaggerated …

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