Lack of a Voice in the Female Cabinet June 2010

Lack of a Female Voice in the Cabinet

 Finally, the battle is over between the 3 men fighting over Number 10. Maybe as a female, my view was the one with the most hands up got the ‘seat’ but as we all know it was not so simple? So we have a new Prime Minister, David Cameron and Deputy; Nick Clegg, but was I the only one feeling a little sorry for Gordon Brown and his family as they left their ‘home’?.

Congratulations to our new local female MP; Gloria De Peiro

Gloria De Piero MP (born 21 December 1972) is a British politician, journalist and presenter best known for her work with for GMTV. In the 2010 general election she was elected as the Labour Party Member of Parliament for Ashfield. However, Gloria is one of a few female MPs.

FACT: There are 4 women in the Cabinet; Theresa May, Home Secretary, Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden, Baroness Warsi, Minister without Portfolio & Chairman of the Conservative Party and Cheryl Gillan, the first woman Welsh Secretary

As there are 25 men entitled to attend the meetings, the female members make up around 14% of the total. Britain lags behind other European countries for the number of women in top political jobs. Spain has 53% women in its Cabinet, while Germany has 37% and France 33%.

Former foreign secretary Margaret Beckett MP said on GMTV that the lack of women could alienate voters. “”I think it could and that would be a pity because one of the reasons that they probably haven’t got more women in the Cabinet in senior roles is simply because of the dearth of people coming through. And that’s a consequence of the lack of encouragement and the lack of bringing people forward in the past”

Rachel Reeves, the newly-elected Labour MP for Leeds West said the low number is a “great shame”. We’re missing out on a huge amount of talent and women have different experiences to men to bring to politics,” she told Sky News Online

“In the Cabinet, the Liberal Democrats have five seats and yet they haven’t been able to find a single woman to put forward. In 2010, you’d expect to have more women in Parliament and in Cabinet.”

So what are the reasons? Well the barriers preventing women entering politics seems to be the lack of role models, the lengthy selection process and the family unfriendly hours. However, isn’t it about time more women had a voice?

I was personally surprised as to how many female friends weren’t voting at this election due to the unclearness of policies or even indifference “They all say the same lie”.  However, I encouraged them to do so as in our lifetime women fought for a vote ‘burning their bras’ and tying themselves to gates outside Number 10.

Margaret Thatcher, whether you agreed with her political views or not, has to be an aspiration to us all.  When she made a decision she stood by it and no man could ‘humble’ her or make her feel inadequate or unequal?

The 2010 General Election leaves the UK with 142 women MPs and 507 men. There are 14 more women in the Commons than there were in 2005.

Ceri Goddard, the chief executive of the Fawcett Society, told GMTV that debates about electoral reform could offer the ideal opportunity to address the lack of women in politics. The Fawcett Society campaigns for equality between women and men in the UK on pay, pensions, poverty, justice and politics. Visit their website on

“All it takes is political leadership and if you look in Europe where there are cabinets with more women, in every situation in Spain, Germany and in France, the political leaders, men and women, have really put their money where their mouth is,” she said.

Article C/O Diane Carter Editor. What are your views about the lack of females in the ‘Cabinet’? We fought for our vote, so should women be fighting for Parliament? Watch this space for a reply from Gloria De Peiro in the August edition of IWB


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