Congratulations to Harriet Harman for maintaining her excellent campaigning on behalf of women. We would never have expected anything less. Even as acting Labour Party Leader Harriet continues the good work.
I very much agree with Harriet that half the Shadow Cabinet should be women. Unlike the Liberal Democrats, a Party once proud to talk about gender equality, Labour increased its proportion of women MPs at the last election. In the last Parliament 27 percent of Labour MPs were women; it’s now 31 percent. Compare this to what has to be described as the Lib-Dem failure. Their percentage of female MPs actually fell from 15 to 12 percent.
I really should mention the Tories, if only because someone will pick me up if I don’t. Well, I have to admit that their proportion of women MPs actually went up, from an appalling nine per cent to a derisory 16 per cent.
So 12 per cent for the Lib-Dems and 16 per cent for the Tories. The Con-Dem coalition is truly disgraceful on women’s representation.
As a result of this Con-Dem failure, the House of Commons itself looks bad by international comparisons. The proportion of women in Britain’s national parliament is 22 percent. The figure for female representaton in the German Bundestag is 33 percent, 42 percent in the Dutch parliament and 46 percent in Sweden.