8 October 2013
GREEN Party leader Natalie Bennett today pointed out that Prime Minister David Cameron is a long way off fulfilling his aspiration to ensure that a third of ministers are women by 2015.
Only five of the 32 who attend Cabinet are female and the Quad, the coalition’s main decision-making body, is still entirely male.
After Ed Miliband’s reshuffle, 11 of the 27 full shadow cabinet members are women and 14 of the 32 politicians who attend shadow cabinet are women.
Bennett said: "Of course there are many angles to the problem of the lack of diversity in our government, with our cabinet of millionaires with a curiously large number of men who attended expensive public schools, but the lack of women in top leadership roles is telling, particularly given Mr Cameron's pledge.
"Of course both leaders are handicapped by the fact that their parties have failed to move effectively to increase the representation of women in parliament. I was chairing a Women Make History panel at the Havant Literary Festival at the weekend, and speakers reflected on how the suffragettes and suffragists would surely have been horrified by our failure to progress on women's representation nearly a century after they won significant female suffrage."
The Green Party has a long-standing commitment to supporting the advancement of women in politics. Leader Natalie Bennett, Green MP Caroline Lucas, and Green peer Jenny Jones are amongst 15 women on the Green Party’s list of 27 Official Spokespeople.
Bennett added: "I am proud of the wide range if Green Party policies that seek to advance the position of women in society, from following the 'Norwegian model' of a minimum quota of 40 per cent women on major company boards, to insisting large companies conduct and publish pay audits so that gender and other discrepancies are exposed.
"The Lib Dem equalities minister, Jo Swinson, in saying women should have to ask their male workmates what they are paid is getting the responsibility entirely the wrong way around. It is up to companies to pay all of their staff fairly, and to show that they are doing so." (1)
To download the Green Party’s policy pointer on women click here.