Gender and Politics in the media

UK: Women: Cameron is ‘pompous’ but good with ‘family’. Yes campaign’s challenge: winning over female voters.

All-women shortlists could be allowed in FTSE 100 Business Secretary Vince Cable has backed recommendations which could see headhunters draft women-only shortlists for board-level posts, eliminating men entirely from the recruitment process.

All-women shortlists are not currently used in the private sector because they are fraught with legal difficulties and leave companies open to sex discrimination claims from men left out of the hiring process.

But Mr Cable has asked the UK’s equality body, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, to create guidance for headhunters on when and how women-only shortlists could be used in accordance with the law, free from the threat of litigation.

Cable backs all-women shortlists for FTSE boards Financial Times (Subscription) Cable backs all-women shortlists for FTSE boards … in his attempt to reach a target of 25 per cent female representation on FTSE 100 boards by 2015.

‘Too many are straight, white men in their 60s’: How Wales should shake up local government diversity Political parties should each sign up to a target of 40% female candidates in winnable seats at the next local council elections in a bid to improve representation, a Government-backed report has concluded.

The report from an expert group on diversity in local government also called for a mentoring scheme to develop skills of possible members and a publicity and education campaign to inform the public about local government.

The report makes several recommendations for the Welsh Government, local authorities, the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), political parties and councillors ahead of the next elections in 2017.

Ed Miliband? He’s a slimy bore but David Cameron is pompous and Nick Clegg is spineless, say … Evening Standard Women think of Ed Miliband as “boring” and “slimy”, while they regard Nick Clegg as “spineless”, according to a survey.

Polling by Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft asked voters for the first word or phrase that came to mind when they thought of the political leaders.

The millionaire former Tory deputy chairman separated the words mentioned by women and not by men, and vice versa, in the 20 most frequent responses.

Women say David Cameron is ‘pompous and incompetent’ – but also good with ‘family’ A survey by former Tory chairman Lord Ashcroft asked voters to give the first word or phrase that came to mind when they thought of the country’s political leaders

Women think David Cameron is “pompous” and “incompetent”, damning new polling reveals. A survey by former Tory chairman Lord Ashcroft asked voters to give the first word or phrase that came to mind when they thought of the country’s political leaders .

Female voters name “family” when the PM is named – but also “Conservative”, “pompous” and “incompetent”. Mr Cameron fared better among men than women – but still inspired words including “Eton” and “Tory”.

Lord Ashcroft: The Conservatives don’t attract too few women. They attract too few of everyone. Conservative Home David Cameron tells Angela Eagle to “calm down, dear”. A number of female Conservative MPs decide they will not stand at the next election. Another is deselected. Ed Miliband derides the dearth of women on the government front bench. Several women are replaced in their jobs heading public bodies, prompting Harriet Harman to observe that it is “raining men in the Tory Party”.

To some, these stories and others like them constitute evidence that the Tories have a problem with women. As evidence goes, this is pretty flimsy. The academics Peter Allen and Philip Cowley have pointed out that within three years the Cameron Cabinet included exactly the same number of women as Tony Blair’s did at the same point in his premiership (though Mr Blair had rather more to choose from).

Sturgeon: winning over female voters is one of Yes campaign’s biggest challenges Herald Scotland Winning over female voters is one of the biggest challenges facing the pro-independence campaign over the coming months, according to Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. 

Polling suggests the majority of women are yet to be convinced by the Yes side’s arguments, with the latest survey by Ipsos Mori for STV showing 59% of female voters oppose independence, while 27% support it.

Speaking at a gathering of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) in Glasgow, Ms Sturgeon suggested women voters took a “more pragmatic” approach to the notion of independence.

Earlier, during her speech, the Deputy First Minister aligned herself with this position, stating that “a hard-headed analysis of what constitutional option will equip Scotland best for the future” should lead to a decision to vote Yes.

Scots Independence Poll Keeps ‘No’ Vote at 55%, Ipsos MORI Says Bloomberg The campaign against Scottish independence retained its lead in the latest poll by Ipsos MORI, with the largest gap in favor of staying in the U.K. among female voters and in more affluent areas of the country.

The survey for broadcaster STV found 55 percent of people wanted to keep Scotland in the U.K. with 29 percent in favor of independence and 16 percent undecided. The No vote was unchanged from the company’s poll in December, while the Yes vote slipped two percentage points.

Among women, 59 percent wanted to keep the status quo with 27 percent backing independence versus a split of 54 percent to 38 percent for men, Ipsos MORI said. In richest parts of Scotland, the gap in favor of remaining in the U.K. was 51 percentage points compared with six points in the most deprived areas, the survey found

Nick Clegg announces 2015 negotiating team Liberal Democrat Voice …The new team addresses the gender issue to an extent, including two very effective female parliamentarians. But with a membership of five, equal representation along any axis is impossible.  So once again the right/left, economic/social split is skewed to the right, while the gender split is skewed to the male.

Danny Alexander and David Laws provide some continuity as they bring with them their experience from 2010. David’s evidence-based analytical approach could provide a useful brake on over enthusiastic colleagues.

MP Gloria gives candid Red interview Mansfield Chad Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero has opened up about her political and private life in a revealing new interview published in women’s magazine Red.

The shadow minister for women and equalities uses the interview to champion the choices that women make in life and to detail some of the decisions that she has made to get to where she is now.

Gloria (41) speaks about how she and her husband live in different cities most of the time in order to fulfil their own personal career ambitions and how she has never wanted to have children.

She also says that she believes that women should never be asked the ‘kids question’.


Parties sticking with male candidates for local elections Irish Examiner Despite repeated promises by the four main political parties to get more women involved in local politics, only 15 out of 71 candidates standing for Cork County Council in May’s local elections are female.

Fine Gael — currently the largest party on the council with 22 seats — is fielding 28 candidates. Fianna Fáil, which has 12 seats, is fielding 22, while Labour, with seven seats, is putting nine into the field. Sinn Féin has just one seat, but is looking to increase that substantially and has put out 12 runners.

The number of seats on the council is to rise from 48 to 55 to allow for more representation following this summer’s abolition of the 12 town councils in Cork.

Women’s group calls for more family-friendly Dáil Irish Examiner The group will launch its ‘Building a Women-Friendly Oireachtas’ campaign this afternoon, which makes several recommendations to Government aimed at encouraging women to consider politics as a career.

The NWCI would like to see a 40% gender quota applied at cabinet level with maternity and paternity leave introduced to allow further flexibility.

Director Orla O’Connor said the Government needed to set an example for gender equality in Ireland.


Female French journalists want to conquer the front page West – Welfare Society Territory Female journalists rise up against gender discrimination in France. The organization of the “right representation of women in media and of gender equality in journalism” has launched today the campaign “Prenons la une!” (Let’s conquer the front page!). An initiative seeking help among both sexes to say stop to gender inequalities at work. Because female writers are tired of seeing themselves represented as professional journalists and experts on TV and radio shows for only 18%. And of being paid on average 12% less than their male counterpart. Or again, of becoming managing editors in less than 3 cases out of 10, despite their talent. What they demand and expect is very clear: the addition of gender equality principles in the deontology code of the French press; the presence of at least 50% of female journalists and experts in TV and radio broadcasting, the development of training course for the dismantlement of gender stereotypes addressed to new young writers and also useful to older and experienced ones.


Women’s rights & class struggle The Guardian (Australia) Though it was no way the beginning of the women’s rights struggle, in those four and a half decades the struggles of the women’s movement, the trade unions and left and progressive political forces resulted in many social and economic gains for women.

It was a powerful part of that impetus that saw the Whitlam Labor government came to office in the early 1970s with a platform for social change.

Women benefited from the introduction of Medibank (now Medicare) and funding for women’s health that resulted in free, safe abortions, family planning, women’s refuges and other women’s services.

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