In comments to Mumsnet recently, new Tory Women’s Minister Nicky Morgan, has said that the Conservatives may consider all women shortlists after the next general election.
I’ll give you the exchange as it appears on Mumsnet, the Jo refered to is Lib Dem Jo Swinson.
NickyMorganMPTue 24-Jun-14 13:33:06
This is one for Jo and Nicky really.
Labour has already made big strides with women’s representation through all-women shortlists.
Do you (Jo and Nicky) personally agree with that as a way of increasing women’s presence as MPs?
If not, what measures do you think should be taken? (Or do you not think anything should be done?)
What are your parties currently doing to increase the numbers of female MPs? Both LibDems and Tories have pretty lamentable records on this.
Nicky Morgan MP:
Well, I think David Cameron’s policy on having an “A” list of candidates before the 2010 election and introducing things such as gender blind CVs shows the Conservative Party is taking this very seriously. I do think the big issue is we just aren’t getting enough women coming forward (which is an issue for all Parties) – we are seeing more women selected now in our seats. I think we need to see where we end up in 2015 and if we are still struggling to get more women MPs then no option is off the table.
It is encouraging to hear a Tory acknowledging the problem they have with their lack of female representatives, I can’t help but feel that waiting till after 2015 is really not good enough.
I have spoken many times before about the appalling underrepresentation of women in Westminster. 147 out of 650 (22%) is nowhere near good enough, but the stats are even worse within the Tories, with 48 out of 304 (15.7%).
The excuse of not enough women coming forward rings very hollow. It might be more to do with the fact that the Tories simply don’t care enough about gender equality. Rather than starting to do something now, the year before an election, Nicky Morgan is going to wait till afterwards, at which point the problem will almost certainly have become worse.
Representation of women is a matter for all political parties – Labour certainly does not have a monopoly on the issue. However, so far it’s only Labour that has made any real headway.