Gender and Politics in the media

UK: ‘Women have opened legs but not brains’-Tory councillor Anita Kapoor. Sex Claims MP Hancock Resigns Council Role. Tories, Labour both losing 8% of their female MPs

MP steps into Westminster row over women leaving politics Bristol Post BRISTOL MP Charlotte Leslie denies Westminster women are treated like “second- class citizens” as she seeks to defuse the row over the number of female MPs leaving politics.

The Conservative MP for Bristol North West made the claim as it was revealed Tory MP Anne McIntosh has been deselected by her local party – following the revelation that four other female MPs will not go on to fight the next General Election.

Writing for the “comment is free” website, Ms Leslie, who yesterday compared life at Westminster to being a “sheep going through a sheep dip” and said party whips were able to “bully the workforce”, pointed to a series of other factors that could put women off Westminster politics.

British Bank Will Voluntarily Increase Gender Equality In Top Ranks ThinkProgress Lloyds, a retail bank located in London, has set a goal of making sure that its senior staff is 40 percent female by 2020.

To get there, Antonio Horta Osorio, the bank’s CEO, will hire 600 more women as managers in that time frame. He also wants to ensure that at least 25 percent of managers at every level of seniority are women. The bank’s current workforce is 60 percent female, but women make up just 28 percent of its 5,000 person senior staff. The increase will bring senior women’s numbers up from 1,400 to 2,000.

‘Women have opened legs but not brains’ – Tory councillor Anita Kapoor London24 Anita Kapoor, who represents Elthorne on Ealing Council was speaking last Wednesday in a debate on domestic violence on television channel Sky 805’s Venus TV programme, alongside Labour council candidate Natasha Ahmed Shaikh.

In the footage (above), she says: “As woman I’m afraid we have a lot to answer for – we’ve opened our legs but not our brains to understand that with freedom and financial independence also comes responsibility.

“If we have children, as much as we scream that the man should pay – excuse me – we are at an advantage.

“We cannot all have a child. A man does not have that prerogative, so if we are the species that can produce children, the greater responsibility for that child, financially, morally, ethically – however you take it – stands with us.”

Comments made by Ms Kapoor, elected in 2010, have been slammed by the Labour Party as “vicious sexism”.

Sex Claims MP Hancock Resigns Council Role Yahoo News UK The Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock has resigned from his cabinet position on the local council amid sex harassment claims.

Mr Hancock had resigned the Liberal Democrat whip in the House of Commons in the summer over allegations he had harassed a troubled constituent although until last month he remained a Liberal Democrat councillor.

He has now resigned his position on the cabinet of Portsmouth City Council and will contest the May local council elections as an independent in an area in which he continues to remain a popular politician.

Mr Hancock, who has always denied the accusations, was suspended by the Liberal Democrats last month after a barrister’s report that had been commissioned by the council into the claims became public.

In it, Nigel Pascoe QC said the complainant had provided “compelling prima facie evidence of serious and unwelcome sexual behaviour” carried out towards her by Mr Hancock dating back to 2009.

Ed Miliband accuses David Cameron of running country like old boys’ network The Guardian David Cameron has been accused of running the country like an old boys’ network after he turned up to prime minister’s questions with an entirely male frontbench.

He was taunted about the Conservatives‘ “women problem” by Ed Miliband in the same week it emerged several prominent women have recently been sacked from government jobs and Anne McIntosh, a high-profile female Tory MP, was deselected by her local association.

The Labour leader also claimed a prominent businesswoman, who is the wife of a Tory donor, had been greeted by Cameron with the remark: “Where’s your husband?”

He then accused the coalition of failing women across the UK by allowing the pay gap between men and women to widen for the first time in five years.

Tories and Labour both losing 8% of their female MPs (blog) Another day, another female MP decides to quit politics. Ann Clwyd has announced that, after 30 years in the Commons, she will not be standing in 2015.

Female MPs have been in the news of late – either because they are retiring or fighting de-selection. On yesterday’s edition of the Andrew Marr Show, Harriet Harman said: ‘My concern is that we’re having a sort of cull of senior, authoritative women and they’re all being replaced by men’. She then went on to use this as evidence that the Tories have a ‘women problem’.

The numbers, though, tell a slightly different story. There were 48 female Tory MPs in 2010. Lorraine Fulbrook, Jessica Lee and Laura Sandys have announced that they will not be seeking re-election. Add Louise Mensch, who stepped down in 2012 to spend more time with her Twitter account, to their number and the casualty rate stands at 8.3%. (Anne Mcintosh will be running again in 2015, even if her local party want someone else.) However, seven female Labour MPs have said that they will be off at the next election: Ann Clwyd, Dawn Primarolo, Tessa Jowell, Glenda Jackson, Joan Ruddock, Anne McGuire and Joan Walley. That’s a loss rate of 8.1%.

Bury St Edmunds: Debate on women in politics and public life tonight has already sparked strong … East Anglian Daily Times

Today the Bury St Edmunds Fawcett Society is hosting a debate entitled ‘how can we increase the representation of women in politics and public life?’, which is taking place at County Upper School in the town.

Among those on the all-female panel are Sarah Stamp, a St Edmundsbury borough councillor and Suffolk county councillor, and Jane Basham, parliamentary candidate for South Suffolk.

Eleanor Rehahn, of the Fawcett Society, which works for women’s rights, said after emailing councillors from all levels of local government in Suffolk to invite them to the event she had received some fairly heated replies in response.

Councillor David Nettleton mentioned the “total exclusion” of men as none were on the panel and councillor Jane Storey, who does not agree with positive discrimination, said men and women “should not whinge” if they are not getting promoted above their efforts.

Ms Rehahn, who teaches politics at County Upper School and is one of the debate organisers, said: “I don’t know if I’m surprised or not.

“I just thought people who are politicians would be more reasonable in their thinking through of things.”

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