Latest Public Sector News

22.05.14

Women face sexism in local politics – Fawcett Society

Women often face "sexist, offensive and derogatory remarks" putting them off entering local politics, a new report from theFawcett Society has revealed.

Ahead of today’s European and Local Elections, the report – Sexism and Local Government – highlighted that women make up only 32% of local councillors in England and 24% in Northern Ireland.

In addition, only 12.3% of local authority leaders in England are women, compared to 16.6% in 2004. In light of the research, the Fawcett Society is calling on all political parties to urgently tackle sexism and ensure a ‘robust and independent’ complaints board is in place.

Before being closed in 2012 by the coalition government, the Standards Board was an independent body able to investigate claims of misconduct in councils. Though it was ‘allegedly’ wracked with problems, it was at a means of redress outside of party politics. Since its abolition there are now few routes of redress for councillors who experience sex discrimination.

Daisy Sands, head of policy and campaigns at the Fawcett Society, said:“This research makes clear that far from being restricted to the national stage, sexism is a problem across all levels of political life.

“We have found numerous examples, across the country and from a range of parties, of male councillors making sexist, offensive and derogatory remarks about both women generally and their female colleagues.

“Parties would do well to remember also that local government also remains one of the key routes into Westminster. Failing to tackle problems at this level will undermine efforts to increase women’s representation on the national stage.”

However, minister for women Nicky Morgan said: “Our public institutions represent society best when they bring together a diverse mix of people with different backgrounds and experiences.

“We want to have more women involved not only in political life but as leaders in all areas, instigating real change in public life.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

An unsettling finance settlement?

23/02/2018An unsettling finance settlement?

Piali Das Gupta, head of policy at Solace, looks over the final local gover... more >
Finance settlement: a golden opportunity

23/02/2018Finance settlement: a golden opportunity

The local government finance settlement must enable counties to continue to... more >

interviews

BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuar... more >

the raven's daily blog

Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

11/12/2017Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

Jen Rae, head of innovation policy at Nesta, says the aims in the government’s new Industrial Strategy are ambitious, but will require a shift in policymaking in order t... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >