Gender and Politics in the media

UK: ‘I was opposed Labour’s AWS in 1993. But I realise now I was wrong.’ Scale of women’s under-representation in gov revealed’

What price equality within today’s Conservative party? The Guardian As Nicola Dandridge, the head of Universities UK recently argued , there is a case for gender segregation where that segregation is voluntary and genuinely held beliefs are at stake. The Conservatives could have used her support last week, when their MPs divided in much the same way that the Muslim activist Abdurraheem Green, has described as a “normative Islamic practice”: men at the front, women at the back.

It is not as if any force was involved or, with only 22% of women in the Commons, a conventionally equal opportunities environment. On the contrary, when Ed Miliband can still recruit an all-male election team and the Lib Dems believe that one male witness is equivalent to five females, when wives are deployed as assets and Ed Balls times his Chopsticks practice to coincide with the school run, this is a workplace where accepted notions of equality are continuously turned on their head.

Women ‘shut out of elite’ under Tories The Sunday Times WOMEN are being “shut out” of top jobs in Whitehall and the diplomatic service, new figures suggest.

Data released under freedom of information laws exposes a disturbing under-representation of women in the corridors of power.

Six of the powerful cabinet committees that set government policy do not have a single female member while fewer than one in five ambassadors appointed since David Cameron came to power in 2010 are women.

Trying to end the 80-20 society, Scotland’s big vote and a barney about security The Independent  …But I realise now I was wrong. Yes, there were some women MPs who remained on the backbenches during the Labour government because they weren’t very good. Yet weren’t there also some pretty ineffectual men in Parliament too? Jacqui Smith was selected from an all-women shortlist and went on to become Britain’s first female home secretary. She became caught up in the expenses scandal, yes, but then so did nearly everyone else. What Labour did in 1993 (under John Smith) was to cause an electric shock to the system, to flood the green benches with women.

Over the years, their constituents have decided whether they are any good or not. And while the bad ones have fallen away, Labour’s women tally remains fairly strong at 34 per cent, compared to 16 per cent of Conservatives and 12 per cent of Lib Dems.

Who would be a woman in politics? The Guardian …Pioneers may be picturesque figures, but they are often rather lonely ones. Or so said Nancy Astor, who certainly should have known: as the first female MP to take a seat in the House of Commons, Samantha Cameron‘s step great-grandmother surely expected to meet her share of resistance. But one wonders how surprised she might have been to discover that 95 years later, despite having achieved critical mass in parliament, women in Westminster are still fighting on so many fronts to be treated as equals.

Not just MPs, where are the women in Government? New figures show that fewer than one in five … The Independent The full scale of the under-representation of women in the government is revealed today, with figures showing that fewer than one in five holders of some of the key posts in government are female.

Ed Miliband accused David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions last week of “failing” women in politics, with a series of female Conservative MPs standing down and missing his own target of ensuring a third of government ministers are women.

But new figures show how the problem of under-representation in the government goes further: just 14 per cent of 114 Privy Councillors appointed since 2010 were women, while 14 per cent of the seats on Cabinet committees, who oversee the business of government, are held by women. Six Cabinet committees have no female presence, including the Coalition committee, while the Economic Affairs Committee, one of the most important in government, has just one woman. None of the 26 Cabinet committees have female chairmen or deputy chairmen.

Ed Balls: lack of female MPC members shows Tory ‘women problem’ The Guardian Labour has highlighted what it describes as the Conservatives’ “women problem” by asking the chancellor, George Osborne, to explain why he has left the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee (MPC) populated entirely by men throughout his chancellorship.

Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, said the absence of women on the key economic policymaking body outside government was astonishing.

Osborne has appointed four new committee members since he became chancellor – all of them men.

Balls said that if he had behaved as the chancellor had, both his wife, Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, and Harriet Harman, the Labour deputy leader, “would hit the roof, and quite rightly too”.

He promised that if he became chancellor he would act to address the issue when vacancies developed.

What price equality within today’s Conservative party? The Guardian As Nicola Dandridge, the head of Universities UK recently argued , there is a case for gender segregation where that segregation is voluntary and genuinely held beliefs are at stake. The Conservatives could have used her support last week, when their MPs divided in much the same way that the Muslim activist Abdurraheem Green, has described as a “normative Islamic practice”: men at the front, women at the back.

It is not as if any force was involved or, with only 22% of women in the Commons, a conventionally equal opportunities environment. On the contrary, when Ed Miliband can still recruit an all-male election team and the Lib Dems believe that one male witness is equivalent to five females, when wives are deployed as assets and Ed Balls times his Chopsticks practice to coincide with the school run, this is a workplace where accepted notions of equality are continuously turned on their head.

New ADC constitution to tackle gender inequality The Cambridge Student The Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club (CUADC) last week reviewed its constitution, removing the male pronoun in order to achieve gender neutrality in the document.

It was announced that Clause 56.2 was to be removed and replaced by Clause 3.2, which states, “This Constitution shall be interpreted without discrimination as to gender.” Previously, this was then qualified by the caveat, “although the masculine pronoun is used throughout”. A member of the club will now be referred to as “the individual” rather than “he”.

The CUADC committee, which reviews the constitution yearly, is made up of 15 students, seven of which are women. Up to this point, even though the current committee secretary is female, the constitution stated, “The secretary shall minute at all meetings that he attends.” This has now been altered to read, “The secretary shall minute at all meetings attended.”

 

David Cameron misses a trick by failing to appoint more women to stepping‑stone roles Photo: BBC

David Cameron could do more to give women MPs a helping hand  Telegraph.co.uk The Conservative Party has got a women problem! Say it often enough and it’ll probably stick and become a problem, even if there wasn’t one to begin with. That is clearly the Labour Party’s strategy at the moment. Last Sunday, Harriet Harman, Labour deputy leader, claimed that “it’s raining men in the Tory party” after one Conservative MP, Anne McIntosh, was deselected by constituents. Never mind that the same thing happened to a chap, Tim Yeo, a few days later. Then at Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Ed Miliband waved at the all-male front bench and accused David Cameron of “failing women”.

How is it possible that Labour, never led by a woman, can accuse the party that produced the first female prime minister of having such a problem? Tory women are privately rather baffled. Although they come from a party that specialises in moaning, particularly about its leadership, one thing these female MPs don’t moan about is a “women problem”. They do not think their leader sexist, and are proud that Theresa May has enjoyed such success and longevity as Home Secretary. But there must be something that gives the “raining men” claim such traction, and it’s not just that only 16 per cent of the party is female.

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