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Fall in women cabinet ministers

4 Sep, 2012

The recent cabinet reshuffle has resulted in a fall in the level of women involved in government at the highest level.

Prime Minister David Cameron's first cabinet had five women in it (Theresa May, Baroness Warsi, Caroline Spelman, Justine Greening and Cheryl Gillan).

There are now just four (Theresa May, Justine Greening, Maria Miller and Theresa Villiers).

The percentage has thus fallen from 21.7% to 17.4% - behind most of the UK's European partners including Bulgaria, Italy and Romania.

There are four countries with 50% or more women in cabinets - France, Sweden, Iceland and Switzerland.

Commenting on the reshuffle, CFWD Director Nan Sloane said: 'This is really very disappointing. There is no reason why the UK should lag behind so many comparable countries, and the absence of women at the most senior levels of politics is depressing. By excluding women from the cabinet the coalition government is diluting its talent pool and depiving the country of the skills, experiences and abilities of half of its population.'

All four women cabinet ministers are Conservatives; there are no Liberal Democrat women around the cabinet table.

42% of Labour Leader Ed Miliband's shadow cabinet are women.

CFWD's Factsheet on women in cabinets internationally can be downloaded here.

Counting Women In is a coalition of women's and democracy organisations campaigning to improve the representation of women in politics.