Gender and Politics in the media

UK: Do Cons have a problem with women? Clegg warned Lib Dems could lose all women MPs. Westminster’s battle of the sexes–FactCheck Q&A.

Less than a quarter of candidates running in the local elections are … thejournal.ie – From the candidacy selections so far, Fianna Fáil is the worst when it comes to having women stand for office in the local elections this year.

POLITICAL PARTIES HAVE been busy over recent weeks and months making selections for the upcoming local elections. Research from Women for Election shows that of the 1278 selections made already by political parties, just 24 per cent are women.

Meet the 20-year-old college student running in this year’s local … Irish Independent Introducing the Trinity student who will be one of the youngest candidates contesting the local elections.

Although she is tackling hours of college work and attending lectures, she has already began canvassing to enter the competitive political arena. At just 20-years-old, Ellen O’Connor is the new Fine Gael candidate in Dún Laoghaire for May’s elections. ‘‘I wanted to enter because women are really underrepresented in politics.

It’s not just Cameron who has a woman problem, it’s the whole … The Guardian Does David Cameron have a woman problem? It certainly seems that some of the women have a problem with him.

In an interview with Red magazine, Yvette Cooper criticises the prime minister for making savings at the expense of women: “We got the House of Commons library to do some detailed analysis, and of the £14bn that the government has raised in cuts and pay and pensions changes, £11bn has come from women,” she says.

Anne McIntosh deselected by local Tories in blow to David … The Independent David Cameron’s authority received an embarrassing blow last night as Tory grassroots activists voted to oust a sitting female MP at the end of a bitter reselection battle.

Anne McIntosh, one of only three women to represent the Conservatives in the north of England, lost an acrimonious campaign which saw allegations of misogyny, dirty tricks and cronyism fly between warring groups in the affluent rural constituency of Thirsk and Malton in North Yorkshire.

Ms McIntosh said she would fight to keep her seat. “I do not intend to be thrown aside by a small group. It is for my constituents as a whole to dismiss me if they wish to do so,” she said as left the vote at Conservative HQ in London. Despite her determination to continue, the result of the secret ballot of 560 members means Mr Cameron faces losing a fifth female MP who will not now be standing in 2015.

Westminster’s battle of the sexes – FactCheck Q&A Channel 4 News (blog) “I’m amazingly proud of the fact that in the last Parliament we had 19 women Conservative MPs, and that has got closer to 50 in this Parliament. That is progress. “Do I want us to go further and faster, yes I do, and we’ll start by targeting his seat at the election.”

– David Cameron, House of Commons, 29 Jaunary 2014

The background

It was supposed to be his year for women.

2014, the Prime Minister declared earlier this month, would be the year that Britain would steam ahead “on women’s equality, on women’s empowerment, on the empowerment of girls and women worldwide”.

Yesterday at Prime Ministers’ Questions, his opponents smelt a rat and couldn’t wait to take a swipe at the numbers of women leaving the parliamentary party.

Nick Clegg warned the Lib Dems could lose all their women MPs … Daily Mail The Liberal Democrats could be left with no women MPs after the next election unless they change tack now, Nick Clegg has been warned.

Senior figures are urging Mr Clegg to adopt a ‘fortress strategy’ to protect the party’s existing seats, rather than trying to continue to compete as a national force.

One Lib Dem member of the Government told the Daily Mail that the party, which is languishing in fourth place in the opinion polls, is on course to lose half its seats, with female MPs disproportionately affected.

Do the Conservatives have a problem with women? BBC News Despite having a majority of 11,000 and having been an MP for 17 years, Anne McIntosh has lost her battle to represent her constituency in North Yorkshire at the next election.

Today’s decision ends a long-running wrangle. Her local constituency party in Thirsk and Malton decided to de-select her last year as their candidate for the 2015 election.

An internal inquiry by Conservative Party HQ found that the local executive broke the rules by co-opting a large number of new members on to the association’s executive board weeks before a vote where it was decided not to endorse her.

The report – which was been leaked to the Yorkshire Post – also found the association was troubled by factions and needed to unite.

David Cameron and Theresa May ‘fighting like ferrets in a sack’ over … Mirror.co.uk David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May are “fighting like ferrets in a sack” over immigration, sources say.

Tempers frayed after the Prime Minister faced a Tory rebellion in an Immigration Bill vote last week – amid mounting speculation May is emerging as a frontrunner to oust Cameron as Tory leader.

A ministerial source said: “Cameron is getting increasingly fed up with Theresa May. “The view is that the Home Secretary is becoming a semi-detached part of the operation.”

Tia Sharp mum: David Cameron let me down after ”empty words … Mirror.co.uk – Murdered Tia Sharp’s mum has accused David Cameron of breaking his vow to tackle internet child porn. Grieving Natalie Sharp met the Prime …

Harassment scandal mars Britain’s Liberal Democrats – and … Christian Science Monitor A sexual harassment scandal in the Liberal Democrat party, the junior partner in Britain‘s coalition government, comes at a dreadful time. With slightly more than a year left before general elections, Chris Rennard, the party’s former chief executive, stands accused of sexually harassing his female colleagues, in a bruising blow to the party’s image.

Unique Royal Mail women’s committee supporting refuges across … Northampton Chronicle & Echo A committee set up to promote women’s issues at the country’s biggest Royal Mail depot has collected hundreds of toiletries to hand out to women’s refuges in the region.

The women’s committee was set up at the South Midlands Mail Centre, in Swan Valley Way, Northampton in 2012, and is the only one of its kind in the country.

The aim of the committee, which is formed predominately of postwomen, is to promote women’s issues within the workplace, and give a voice to an under-represented part of the workforce.

LibDem deputy vote criticised Herald Scotland THE Liberal Democrats have come under fire from Labour for, in the midst of two sex controversies, choosing party grandee Sir Malcolm Bruce as their deputy leader instead of fellow candidate for the top job Lorely Burt.

The 69-year-old Gordon MP, who is due to step down from the Commons at next year’s General Election, beat the challenge from the Solihull MP by just three votes. He said his 30-year experience at Westminster helped swing the vote his way.

Addressing the under-representation of women in Parliament The Guardian Regardless of the role or industry in question, networking is often an essential part of the modern day-to-day job. We all build up an array of contacts during our professional lives and we learn from the people we meet and work with. As a professional political consultant, I can vouch for this being as true in Westminster as anywhere else; and I believe that building on these networks is the key to making Parliament a more female-friendly workplace.

Toby Helm is right to highlight the huge concern over the under-representation of women in Parliament and recent accusations of sexual harassment show just how urgently we need to reform and update our political system. We can take big strides towards improving things with three simple steps.

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