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More Women in European Politics Tanya Hughes Director Ballybeen Women’s Centre.

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Presentation on theme: "More Women in European Politics Tanya Hughes Director Ballybeen Women’s Centre."— Presentation transcript:

1 More Women in European Politics Tanya Hughes Director Ballybeen Women’s Centre

2 National

3 Political Structure UK – Constitutional Monarchy in which Monarch is head of state & Prime Minister is head of government Executive power is exercised by Her Majesty’s Government as well as by the devolved Governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the Parliament of the UK, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as in the Scottish parliament and Welsh and Northern Ireland Assemblies The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The highest national court is the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom The House of Commons is the lower house of the UK Parliament which, like the House of Lords (the upper house), meets in the Palace of Westminster The House of Commons is a democratically elected body consisting of 650 members known as Members of Parliament (MPs). Members are elected to represent constituencies by first-past-the-post and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved.

4 ConLabLDOtherTotal MALE House of Commons 2571745023504 House of Lords 17316064236633 National Assembly of Wales10153735 Scottish Parliament 92045184 Northern Ireland Assembly8888 London Assembly871117 European Parliament 19851648 FEMALE House of Commons 488376144 House of Lords 39652650180 National Assembly of Wales4152425 Scottish Parliament 61712145 Northern Ireland Assembly2020 London Assembly15118 European Parliament (UK Members)656724 % FEMALE House of Commons 16%32%12%21%22% House of Lords 18%29%29%17%22% National Assembly of Wales29%50%20%36%42% Scottish Parliament 40%46%20%29%35% Northern Ireland Assembly19%19% London Assembly11%42%50%50%32% European Parliament (UK Members)24%38%55%30%33%

5 UK General Election May 2010 Country Total Number of Seats Number of Women MPs %Women MPs England53311922% Scotland591322% Wales40717.5% Northern Ireland 18422.2% TOTAL65014322%

6 Regional Variations Region Total Number of Seats Number of Women MPs %Women MPs East of England58915.5% East Midlands461123.9% Greater London732432.9 North East England291034.5 North West England751621.3 South East England841416.7 South West England551120 West Midlands591322 Yorkshire & Humber541018.5 Scotland591322 Wales40717.5% Northern Ireland18422.2% TOTAL65014222%

7 Election year Number of % women women MPs MPs 1979 19 3.0 1983 23 3.5 1987 41 6.3 1992 60 9.2 1997 120 18.2 2001118 17.9 2005 128 19.5 2010 143 22.0 Women in the House of Commons

8 WOMEN MINISTERS Currently 4 out of 22 (18%) Cabinet posts are held by women. Of 121 Government Ministers, including the Cabinet, whips, Lords in waiting and 13 unpaid positions 23 (19%) are women. Prior to 2010 election 30% of ministers were women

9 Devolved Legislatures

10 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY FOR WALES 2011 ELECTION No. of women (60 total seats) (2007 total in brackets) No of women in constituency seats (40 total seats) No of women in regional seats (20 total seats) Labour15 (16)132 Plaid Cymru4 (7)13 Conservative4 (1)22 Liberal Democrat 2 (3)11 Independent / Other 0 (1)00 TOTAL25 (28)178 1999 Elections40% 2003 Elections50% 2007 Elections46.7% 2011 Elections41.7% Women as total % of National Assembly for Wales Wales

11 SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT 2011 ELECTION No. of women (129 total seats) (2007 total in brackets) No of women in constituency seats (73 total seats) No of women in regional seats (56 total seats) Labour18 (23)711 Scottish National Party 19 (12)145 Conservative6 (5)06 Liberal Democrat 1 (2)01 Green Party1 (0)01 Independent / Other 1 (1)01 TOTAL46 (43)2125 1999 Elections37.2% 2003 Elections39.5% 2007 Elections33.3% 2011 Elections35.6% Women as total % of Scottish Parliament Scotland

12 Northern Ireland NORTHERN IRELAND ASSEMBLY RESULTS 2011 PartyTotal SeatsWomen% Women APNI8225 DUP38513 SDLP14321 SF29828 UUP16212.5 Other3-0 Total1082018.5%

13 London Assembly LONDON ASSEMBLY RESULTS 2012 PartyTotal SeatsWomen% Women Conservative 9111 Labour12542 Liberal Democrats 2150 Other2150 Total25832%

14 Local Government % of women elected as councillors at local government level: England 2011 – 30.7% Scotland 2012 – 24.3% Northern Ireland 2011 - 23% Wales 2012 – 26.3%

15 Europe

16 EUROPE UK European election results by gender and party, 2009 PartyTotal MEP’s Elected WomenMen% Women BNP2020 Conservative2561924 Conservative & Unionist 1010 DUP110100 Green220100 Labour135838 Liberal Democrat116555 Plaid Cymru110100 Sinn Fein110100 SNP2000 UKIP1321115 Other5050 TOTAL72254735% (Total 200478205826%)

17 MEP’s by Region RegionNumber of SeatsNumber of Women East Midlands52 Eastern71 London84 North East31 North West82 South East104 South West61 West Midlands62 Yorkshire & the Humber 62 Scotland61 Wales42 Northern Ireland32 TOTAL7224

18 % of MEPs by country July 2009

19 Addressing Underrepresentation EQUALITY LEGISLATION – Sex discrimination Act 2002 – allowed political parties to use positive action in the selection of election candidates. Now amalgamated to – Equality Act 2010 – extends the provision to exempt political parties from sex discrimination law until 2030 UK Labour – only party to use provision & policy of all women shortlists to address gender imbalance in party Conservatives – do not use all-women shortlists but the marked increase in women MP’s is evidence of Con Central Parliamentary Selection Board to place more women on lists

20 Addressing Underrepresentation A QUOTA SOLUTION? 2 main types – Party – adopted voluntarily by party to aim for a certain proportion of female candidates (25-50%). Govern composition of party lists (PR electoral systems) or selection of candidates (plurality systems)) Legislative – mandatory provisions applying to all parties Effectiveness: Last 30 years has seen a significant increase in women in politics in states here PR exists, but only modest through Plurality/majority systems The British first-past-the-post system and the French two- round system are known to work against women.

21 Addressing Underrepresentation SHORTLISTS All women shortlists are a good example of the way selection rules can affect female representation. Cons & Lab had more women candidates than at previous elections & %age of female MP’s in each party increased

22 Conclusions Range of cultural and economic factors affect the level of women’s representation internationally - level of secularism, length of time women have had vote to rates of women in paid employment and levels of state of childcare Yet political factors such as party ideology, electoral systems (FPTP) and candidate selection rules are clearly crucial Internationally, PR electoral systems, where selection rules require that women are selected have resulted in rise in women’s representation Extension of the Sex Discrimination Act 2002 to enable the use of al women shortlists until 2030 should make a difference in relation to gender, if all parties use it

23 However! UK is placed 52 nd on table of women’s representation in Parliaments worldwide UK also remains behind most European Parliaments which tend to have PR election systems At the current rate of change & under current system it will take a further 200 yrs to achieve parity in the number of women and men n parliament

24 B What have we done to promote women n politics? Education and training programmes European Projects - Study Visits Meetings and debates with elected representatives Collective lobbying and campaigning Ensure representation on working groups and consultative bodies


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