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When there are decisions being made, and wherever power is wielded, women do not seem to be present. Women are under-represented in all aspects of power and decision making.
Only 29% of MP’s are women, 25% of peers, and the number of women MP’s in the Cabinet is 32%.
All bar 41 of 650 MP’s are white, and only 19 of those are Black or ethnic minority women.
Six Government Departments are female free zones, including: The Cabinet Office, the Scotland Office, the Wales Office and the Attorney General’s Office.
It is now almost 80 years since women got the right to vote equally with men, 40 years since the Sex Discrimination Act, and 40 years since the Equal Pay Act. However women are still missing from positions of power in the UK.
Of FTSE 100 Company directors, only 25.4% are women and only 11% of UK bank CEO’s are women. Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the IMF, sad that “If Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters, today’s economic crisis clearly would look quite different”. While this can’t be proven, we do think that more women in business would be a good thing!
Only 21 of the 100 most powerful people in the media are women (says the Guardian). Of 18 national newspapers only 2 have female editors and women make up just 30% of journalists. In addition to this ‘experts’ in the media men outnumber women 4 to 1. This means that women’s ability to influence what we see and hear, and the way that women are represented is severely limited.
Only one out of 12 Supreme Court Judges is a woman, and all 12 Supreme Court Judges are white, despite the population comprising of 51% women and 14% Black and ethnic minority men and women. In England and wales only 23% of Judges are women, with only 8% of the higher judiciary, being female judges.
Women’s organisations lobby and provide information and research to tackle the lack of women’s participation and the imbalance of political power. They are working towards more representation and diversity in the forums where decisions are made, and trying to increase the number of women in leadership roles and as visible role models.
What can Parliament do?
- Take action to increase women in politics
- Introduce and monitor mechanisms to remove the barriers preventing women from attaining positions of power and leadership
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