Sign up for our free E-Newsletter!

Centre for Women & Democracy
Suite 7a, Unity Business Centre
26 Roundhay Road
Leeds
LS7 1AB

Tel: 0113 234 6500

E-mail: info@cfwd.org.uk

Follow us on Twitter

Women and the election campaign

12 Mar, 2015
With the general election just eight weeks away, we're thinking about what might happen to women's representation, both in parliament and the media. Already there are signs that, whlst there will probably be more women elected (boosting the percentage of women MPs from 23% to somewhere between 25% and 30%, depending on the overall outcome), the increase is not likely to be so dramatic that the prospect of a 50:50 parliament is realistic for the near future. Add to that the fact that the media (and the political parties) are already beginning to focus on unelected leaders' wives rather than women politicians, and we seem to be shaping up for a re-run of the kind of coverage we saw in the 2010 election.

Internationally, the UK continues to fail to achieve significant progress up the women's representation league table. The chart below shows how many countries had a higher percentage of women MPs than the UK immediately before each of the last four UK general elections plus the one about to happen. As you can see, this has changed little since 1997. No doubt we will overhaul quite a few in May, but many more will overhaul us in turn before the 2020 election. It's going to take more than good intentions to change that.