The leaked government memo published this week proposes that consideration should be given to ‘setting up a review on barriers to women entering public life – looking not just as (sic) culture, but structural barriers like uncertainly and lack of maternity provision’.
Those of us who have already made lengthy submissions to more reviews and inquiries than we care to remember were probably as one in our feeling of irritation and frustration when we saw this. The last such inquiry – the Speaker’s Conference, which reported in January 2010 and has been largely ignored – examined the barriers at some length, as did the earlier Councillors’ Commission.
CFWD's Director, Nan Sloane, said: 'Obviously if yet another review is held CFWD will contribute to it, but we will also be asking what realistic prospect there is of its findings being inplemented when they will be so little different to those of all the review’s predecessors. We know what the barriers are – what we don’t know is when some action will actually be taken to remove them.'