Gender and Politics in the media

UK: 1st English book of women’s rights (1632) ‘The Baron May Beat His Wife’. Ire: Lack of female local politicians in Ireland a growing concern.

Women in the boardroom: non-exec jobs may be best, says Lord … The Guardian Lord Davies, the government’s champion of women in the boardroom, has said company chairmen may have to increase the number of female non-executive directors to 50% to meet his target of boards that are one quarter female. Because top executives are mainly men and not easily replaced, that leaves non-executive seats as the route for getting more women on to the board, he said.

In his 2011 report he set FTSE 100 companies the goal of 25% female board representation by next year and encouraged the next 250 listed companies to do the same.

Davies said: “We are on target to achieve the 25% but there is still a lack of female CEOs and CFOs [chief financial officers]. Therefore, in the FTSE 350 chairmen have got to be even more focused on making sure they have the right representation at the non-executive level, and that could mean going closer to 50%.”

Lack of female local politicians in Ireland is a growing concern The Guardian (blog) One of the most disappointing aspects of the local government reform proposals in Ireland is that the issue of gender equality has not been taken seriously.

The government’s Putting People First document pledges to promote and assist women candidates at local level by arranging meetings at family-friendly times. While this step is to be welcomed, there is clearly scope for much more to be done.

Ireland passed gender quota legislation in 2012 which provides for a 30% quota of women candidates at the next general election (rising to 40% seven years later).

There should be better representation of women in public sector leadership roles ‘sooner rather than later’

Facing up to gender inequality in the public sector The Guardian The private sector gets a pretty hard time when it comes to women in leadership. There aren’t enough women on boards. Whack! There aren’t enough women chief executives. Whack! There aren’t enough female senior managers beyond the human resources and marketing departments. Whack!

Well, I have a big stick for the public, social and third sectors. Wallop!

At present, 35% of public sector leaders are women. While we’re ranked in the top five around the world for representation, this is still disappointing, given that 51% of the population is female. We rule in numbers, but that appears to be it.

Earlier in the year there was a major furore over the speaker lineup at an event for charity fundraisers (nine men and one woman) and the event was cancelled.

First ever English book of women’s rights from 17th century to sell for … Daily Mail The book, entitled The Lawes Of Resolutions Of Women’s Rights: or The Lawes, Provision for Women, was compiled by Thomas Edgar and sold by John Grove in 1632.

The work features the laws and rights applicable to women including issues such as divorce, polygamy, marriage and rape.

It features such intriguing chapters as ‘What Persons Women May Not Marry’, ‘The Baron May Beat His Wife’ and ‘Of Wooing’.

In the radical text Thomas Edgar said: ‘The Theme, as the subject, is, The Lawes Resolutions of Womens Rights; which comprehend all our Lawes concerning Women, either Children in government or nurture of their Parents or Gardians, Mayds, Wives, and Widowes, and their goods, inheritances, and other estates.

‘Women have nothing to do in constituting Lawes, or consenting to them, in interpreting of Lawes, or in hearing them interpreted at lectures, leets or charges, and yet they stand strictly tyed to mens establishments, little or nothing excused by ignorance.

The book, entitled The Lawes of Resolutions of Women’s Rights: or the Lawes, Provision for Women, was compiled by Thomas Edgar and sold by John Grove in 1632.

Baroness Shirley Williams: the Liberal Democrat peer that defined … New Statesman Mark Peel’s biography of Shirley Williams is sympathetic, well written and well researched. But I found myself deeply irri­tated by his conclusion that her defining characteristic is her “essential niceness”.

She is, of course, approachable, informal, engaging and whatever else “nice” means. But “niceness” is also a dismissive put down, as in William Hague’s comment in an Oxford Union debate (quoted as the punchline of the introduction): “In politics, Mrs Williams, it isn’t enough to be nice.” And it misses the essential point, that she is an extremely interesting woman who has played a major role in British public life over a long period; now 83, Williams got herself invited to have lunch with the wartime home secretary, Herbert Morrison, 70 years ago as a politically precocious adolescent.

Samantha Cameron and Clare Balding visit Basildon school Echo THE first ladies of British politics visited Basildon to inspire young women to aim high.

Samantha Cameron, wife of Prime Minister David Cameron, and lawyer Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, wife of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, were two of ten high profile business women who attended a special event at Basildon Upper Academy this morning.

BBC sports presenter Clare Balding also had one-on-one discussions with pupils at the school to help them believe anything is possible.

Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock lent his support to the event and said: “It was a very impressive display of opportunities for pupils and a very exciting atmosphere.

“To come to Basildon and inspire girls here is amazing.”

Cambridge student hits back against proposals to allow gender … The Cambridge Student A Cambridge student has advocated the removal of all gender segregation in universities in a letter to Universities UK (UUK).

Radha Bhatt, first year Historian at King’s, wrote in response to guidance on gender segregation published by UUK last November. The guidance proposed a policy of ‘voluntary’ gender segregation for religious groups who wanted to separate men and women at meetings and lectures.

Requesting that they admit that any segregation of genders is “unlawful”, Bhatt stated, “Once you allow one religious group to impose its discriminatory values, it’s like a slippery slope, and others will follow.

“Universities are secular, neutral public bodies that perform public functions, and for them to allow others to impose such discriminatory values is really dangerous… Of course religious belief is important, but equality trumps it.”

Wives of David Cameron and Nick Clegg drop in on school for … A school gave its female pupils a careers talk with a difference when it brought in two of the most prominent women in the country – the wives of Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg.

Samantha Cameron and Miriam Gonzalez Durantez were among 10 high profile women attending the event at Basildon Upper Academy in Essex, held as part of the national Inspiring Women campaign.

The campaign, run by the charity the Education and Employers Taskforce and backed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, was launched to connect women from all backgrounds with girls from state schools.

The women took part in a “career speed dating” event with 100 girls to give them insights into different career options.

Mum’s plea to David Cameron: give school leavers with disabilities … Bournemouth Echo A BOURNEMOUTH mum has called on the Prime Minister to provide full-time opportunities for school leavers with disabilities.

Jackie Horne, of Muscliff, says her 14-year-old daughter Emily – currently a pupil at Beaucroft School in Colehill – will not have the appropriate amount of support when she leaves full-time education.

The teenager has DiGeorge Syndrome, and suffers with obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit disorder and autistic tendencies as a result.

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