26 February 2013
THE Green Party’s spring conference on Monday took a further step towards the goal, established at Autumn Conference last year, to achieve at least 50% of female candidates in general elections.
Conference agreed that if no woman has come forward when the initial nomination period closes, a second call for nominations will be made.
Sarah Cope, chair of Green Party Women, said: “The importance of this action is obvious when you take a look at today’s House of Commons, where men outnumber women more than four to one, where there are more millionaires around the cabinet table than women, where, in the words of the Fawcett Society, it is clear that if you’re not at the table you’re on the menu.”
Sarah continued: “Women in the UK are now facing a ‘triple jeopardy’ in terms of austerity. Firstly, increasing unemployment, as women’s employment is heavily focused on the public sector. Secondly, loss of income: over 70% of government cuts to date have come from women’s pockets. Add to this cuts to legal, domestic abuse services caring and childcare support. Simply put, we need women not at the kitchen table but at the cabinet table.”
Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader and former chair of Green Party Women, said: “The Green Party has consistently led the way compared to the other large parties in the percentage of women standing for elected office. In the 2010 general election we had 33% female candidates, compared to Labour’s 30%, the Conservative’s 24% and the Liberal Democrat’s 21%.
“But we still want to do much better.”
Sarah added: “We have many inspiring, hard-working, dedicated women within the Green Party. Today we took a big step towards getting them elected.”