Tag Archives: British politics

UK: Lib Dems, parental leave and flexible working. Old Etonians, Red Princes: Tories, Labour revert to dynastic politics.

Old Etonians and Red Princes: Tories and Labour are reverting to dynastic politics (blog) …Cameron’s trouble is that his chumocracy is overlaid with more than a whiff of class privilege that most of us thought had disappeared from politics 40 years ago. Since the 1970s the composition of prime ministers’ kitchen cabinets has been remarkably diverse. Edward Heath, Harold Wilson and Margaret Thatcher were all grammar school educated. Admittedly they all went to Oxford, though Margaret Thatcher used to boast: “I never let it hold me back”. Jim Callaghan went to a bog standard secondary school and did not go to university. Nor did Bernard Ingham, another grammar school boy. Campbell, McBride and Balls all went to Oxbridge after going to state schools or private day schools.

Friends: The One with The Other Woman ‘Dave was in a splendid mood as he arrived for his weekly strategy meeting with the Central Office whizz-kids Julian and Sophie.

“You can’t tell me I should be more like Nigel Farage this week!” he chortled. “He’s been accused of having an affair and paying for his mistress with EU funds. This’ll prick the Ukip bubble all right – no pun intended, ho-ho!”

The two young masterminds did not seem amused, however. “Actually, PM, what with the upcoming Euro-elections and the likelihood we’ll come third behind Ukip and Labour, we still think you should go the Farage route,” Julian said.

Dave was aghast: “But I can’t be any ruder about immigrants, just to appease that mob. Sam and I can’t get a dinner-party invitation in Notting Hill as it is.”

“We’re not talking immigrants,” Sophie explained. “This is all about your problem with women.”

Headhunters take on Cable over all-women shortlists Scotsman (blog) Business Secretary Vince ­Cable has called for an investigation into the idea, which he believes could lead to more women taking top posts at Britain’s leading companies, even if it means excluding men entirely from the recruitment process.

But headhunters have warned the proposal is fraught with legal difficulties, is unfair, and could backfire. Sue O’Brien, chief executive of City recruitment consultants, Norman Broadbent, said: “We always look for a diverse shortlist. It’s the headhunter’s responsibility to provoke the thinking of their clients. But I don’t agree with 100 per cent female shortlists. We have to make sure that the top, say, four candidates for a job are the best four people…

Jenny Willott writes… How Lib Dems are giving families choice through shared parental leave and … Liberal Democrat Voice As a mother with two small children myself, I know how hard it can be to balance work and family life. And as a Lib Dem, I firmly believe in equal opportunities for all and tackling discrimination, whatever form it takes.

So I am really excited that with Lib Dems in Government, we are shaking up the status quo to make it easier for parents with young children to arrange their work/life balance however best suits them.

David Cameron praises Selsdon teenager for raising awareness of ‘barbaric’ female genital … Croydon Advertiser A SELSDON school prefect has received praise from Prime Minister David Cameron for her work raising awareness of a “barbaric” practice.

Katie Tomsett this week organised a conference at her school, Croydon High, about female genital mutilation, which was attended by world-leading experts on the issue.

The Advertiser recently discovered more than 140 women had been treated for FGM between 2010 and 2013 at Croydon University Hospital, although experts say thousands more girls in Croydon are at risk.


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UK: Feminism has wreaked havoc – time for women to hit back. Gender gap gives No camp some independence polling power.

Record View: Gender gap gives No camp some independence polling power Scottish Daily Record TODAY’S exclusive Daily Record poll on independence makes fascinating reading. It shows Alex Salmond faces a formidable challenge to secure a Yes vote in September’s referendum. With just six months to go, the First Minister needs to convince almost every remaining undecided voter to back his plan to break up Britain. Perhaps the most striking aspect of the figures is the gender gap. The survey indicates a higher proportion of men now support going it alone while more women are against it.

Barrister Justine Thornton says sexism still a problem for women lawyers at Camden school talk Ham&High Top lawyer Justine Thornton – wife of Labour leader Ed Miliband – has spoken out about sexism in the legal professions at a talk to schoolchildren to mark International Women’s Week.

Kathy Gyngell: Feminism has wreaked havoc – it’s time for women to hit back Conservative Home Last week on Woman’s Hour that godmother of feminism, Bea Campbell, in suitably sepulchral tones, informed a shocked Jenni Murray that the amount of housework men do has only increased by a minute a year over three decades. Murray did not raise an eyebrow at this ridiculous statistic. She waited in respectful anticipation for more evidence of the victimisation of women. Today this crazy insistence on gender parity in the home and in the workplace frames every aspect of public policy. It matters not which political party is in power, feminist orthodoxy reigns supreme. In an act of utter futility, the Conservatives pursue women voters on Labour’s gender equality ticket. As Paul Johnson of the IFS wrote recently, political agreement is fine, unless it is wrong.

Bank Of England MPC Has No Women As Appointments ‘On Merit’ Says Sajid Javid Huffington Post UK Tory minister Sajid Javid has sparked controversy for suggesting that women did not “merit” serving on the Bank of England‘s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). The Treasury minister told MPs that the nine-man committee, which oversees interest rates, “consists of individuals who are best-qualified to make the decisions necessary to achieve the government’s monetary policy objectives.” Since George Osborne became chancellor, all four of the new appointments to the Bank’s MPC have been men. “All appointments are made on merit,” Javid explained, in remarks that Labour branded “outrageous”.

Could this woman be the next female Prime Minister? For a man who, according to the polls, is on the path to power, Ed Miliband remains unloved by the country, and a matter of some indifference to many in his party. Last time I looked, the Labour leader’s approval ratings were minus 17 per cent (source: Opinium political polling) – not nearly as bad as Nick Clegg’s, but a lot worse than the prime minister’s. And whereas David Cameron gets a plus 87 per cent rating from his own party, Miliband only manages plus 47 per cent (worse even than Clegg’s plus 56 per cent). So more than half his own party can’t muster any support for him.

Annie Brown: Female representation boils down to who is running the show Scottish Daily Record WITH women only account for 16 per cent of the movers and shakers in the film and small screen industry ANNIE says it’s clear to see that female …

Labour announce all-woman shortlist for Batley and Spen seat Batley News Last week MP Mike Wood announced he will stand down at the next general election in 2015 after 18 years serving the constituency.
A spokesman for Labour confirmed that the national executive committee had decided to select its next candidate from an all-female shortlist to improve the gender balance in the party.
In Dewsbury and Mirfield, Labour candidate Paula Sheriff was chosen from a similar shortlist to contest Simon Reevell’s seat.
The shortlists aim to improve the gender balance in the party. What do you think? Are all-women shortlists needed to address the lack of female MPs?

WATCH: Shadow Home Secretary visit to Wetherby on International Women’s Day Harrogate Advertiser In a weekend visit to Wetherby, Yvette Cooper, MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford sat down with five business owners and Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Elmet and Rothwell Veronica King to discuss the opportunities for women in business and the challenges they face. Ms Cooper said: “What we know is that women starting up their own businesses is very important to the local economy, though it can often be difficult for them to get the appropriate financing. “It is improving right across the country but growing a business and supporting a family can be really hard work.

Women meet MP to discuss issues Lancashire Evening Post The MP for West Lancashire, Rosie Cooper, met with 15 women for a ‘What Women Want’ discussion on an extensive range of issues affecting women in their day-to-day lives to mark International Women’s Day. Attending the event at Christ Church Ministry Centre, Aughton were women involved in the business, education, health, law-enforcement, charity and voluntary sector, and community sectors, all with different experiences, different areas of expertise and interests and different ages.

Scottish politician seeks independent woman for voting commitment Channel 4 News (blog) We’ve had the soccer moms, now let’s hear it for the shinty maws. For those of you unfamiliar with Gaelic sports, I refer of course to the importance of women in the Scottish independence referendum. Scotland’s deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon (pictured above) has suggested that if she can win over women, her party will win the referendum. Just 27 per cent of women say they’ll vote Yes to independence in September, with 59 per cent planning to vote No. So between now and then, Scottish women – whether shinty maws or otherwise – will be as eagerly wooed by politicians of all hues as were the soccer moms who felt the full force of Bill Clinton’s electoral charms.

Lamont says ‘huge issues facing women’ deeper than constitutional debate BBC News Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont led a debate entitled Women in Scotland on 12 March 2014. Ms Lamont said: “The huge issues facing women, here and abroad, are deeper than any constitutional arrangements and must be addressed with political will regardless of what the constitutional settlement might be.” She highlighted the political, social and economic advancement of women in Scotland but pointed out the barriers into education, employment and representation in public life needed to be addressed, as well as the challenges women faced throughout the world. Ms Lamont said: “In freeing women we create a better society that’s better and fairer for our daughters and sons.”

Let women reach top on own merits Belfast Telegraph …Around 70% of 300 delegates at last year’s conference voted against compulsory quotas to ensure representation of women at board level. Ms Kinnaird said: “I am very much a proponent of people getting to whatever position in life on back of their own merits rather than satisfying quotas… people should be there because they have the skillset and deserve to be in that position, rather than ticking a box.”

Labour Council supports women’s shelters Exchange Morning Post (press release) Kitchener – The Waterloo Regional Labour Council raised more than $4,600 for local women’s shelters in the Waterloo Region at its first annual International Women’s Day fundraiser brunch last Saturday. Fran Parry and Lois Iles, Co-Chairs of the Council’s Women’s Committee, were deeply gratified by the outpouring of support from the almost 160 women and men who attended. In addition to the many union members who took part in the event, local dignitaries Catherine Fife (MPP Kitchener-Waterloo), Julie White (UNIFOR Women’s Department Director), and Stephen Soucie (KW Sexual Assault Centre) attended and spoke about the importance of women getting involved in fighting for social change.


Quotas aren’t needed for able women to win electoral success Sydney Morning Herald That region has wall-to-wall female representation from the two major parties at federal and state level with just two exceptions: Liberal whip Bill Tilley …

Women should make up 50 per cent of MPs The Australian (blog) Members of parliament are meant to represent the interests of their constituents. That is why many systems of representation are proportional. Women …

Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley calls for an end to Australian society’s `entrenched bias … And in a strong speech to an invited group of women at Government House, she called for betterrepresentation of women on the annual Order of …


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How Conservative Media’s Slut-Shaming Helped Inspire Scientific Study. People ‘less apathetic’ to female leaders.

How Conservative Media’s Slut-Shaming Helped Inspire A Scientific Study Media Matters for America (blog) New research confirms that providing women access to free birth control does not result in women having sex with more partners — a false claim that …

A conservative ‘war on women’? That’s just silly Fox News The idea of a conservative “war on women” is as silly as the propaganda I was taught in college: Aside from sex organs, genders are exactly equal, …

Nancy Pelosi talks immigration and midterm elections 89.3 KPCC House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was in town recently, for last weekend’s Democratic Convention and to promote her Women’s Economic Agenda.

At Male-Dominated Conference, CPAC Women’s Panel Tries To Be Heard RH Reality Check  The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)’s only all-female panel took the stage Saturday, in the final hours of the final day of the …

The real voting gap all about marriage Tyler Morning Telegraph They’re so invested in being ladies, they don’t even talk like women. … Aside from being insulting to theconservative women at the conference, the …

Women and elections

Allende becomes first woman to head Chile’s Senate Global Times Isabel Allende, daughter of the late Chilean leader Salvador Allende, on Tuesday became the first woman to serve as president of the Senate.

Women voters will play decisive role in Indian elections Irish Times Women voters in India will play a decisive role in determining the outcome in the country’s general election, polling for which begins on April 7th.

Weak female turnout at EP chamber elections Saudi Gazette DAMMAM — Only 68 out of the 777 registered and eligible women have so far cast their votes in the elections for the 17th board of the Eastern …

Quotas help more women enter Latin American politics Thomson Reuters Foundation In Colombia, where parliamentary elections were held last weekend, 21 women were elected to the 102-seat Senate – up four percent from 2010.

People ‘less apathetic’ to female leaders Jakarta Post Idle Hands: Workers sit around with nothing to do in a warehouse belonging to the General Elections Commission (KPU) in Palu, Central Sulawesi, …

Issue of quotas for women MPs may return, says Renzi Gazzetta del Sud english Issue of quotas for women MPs may return, says Renzi … introducing minimum quotas for women MPs when his election-law bill reaches the Senate.


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Why you should talk politics on your first date. Gender inequality crucial to winning battle against poverty.

6 Liberal Democrat Leadership Contenders Who Could Replace Nick Clegg Huffington Post Jo Swinson – Business Minister UK With only seven female MPs the Lib Dems have a ‘women problem’ that arguably runs deeper than the Conservative Party’s troubles – Swinson could be the answer to that. If Clegg steps down the 34-year-old business minister will be able to point to experience of government while at the same time presenting a fresh, and young, face to the party and the country. As a Scottish MP, Swinson would also be the only Scottish party leader in Westminster in a post-independence referendum Britain. However just like Cable, Swinson’s age may count against her in reverse – in 2015 she will be only be 35 years old. There is also the small problem of the general election itself. At 2,184, her majority in East Dunbartonshire is not exactly impossible to overturn by her Labour challenger. And of course if Scotland votes to become independent in 2014, it would be politically impossible to stand for the leadership of a UK party.

Meeting at Newstead Miners Welfare of protesting parents and officials who have come to help them with their fight to keep the childcare facility open, pictured left is MP Gloria De Piero and Leonie Mathers Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Sherwood of the next general election.

Newstead mums talk to Gloria Mansfield Chad A group of mums from Newstead spoke candidly to Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero about their everyday lives as she brought her ‘What Women Want’ tour to a close.

Gloria, the shadow women and equalities minister, was joined by Léonie Mathers, Labour’s Sherwood Parliamentary candidate, at the listening event at the Newstead Centre on Tilford Road on Friday.

Held to mark International Women’s Day, the event gave the women the chance to be as honest, open, brutal and frank as they wanted.

“The views expressed by the women on everything from the threat of closure of their nursery to affordable childcare, unemployment and the cost of living will be fed to the top level of politics with the results presented to Ed Miliband,” said Gloria.

Why you should talk politics on your first date Daily Life 

Remember that classic scene in When Harry Met Sally…, where Meg Ryan’s Sally quizzes Billy Crystal’s Harry about his gender ideology during their first date?

You don’t? Oh yeah, that’s because it never happened.

There’s a good reason that first date conversation never veers close to gender politics. When it comes to dating conventions, the technical term for this topic is ‘boner killer’.

But, based on a recent study published in the Journal of Family Issues, asking your prospective partner about his views on gender equality could save a lot of time and frustration down the track.

Dublin Councillor calls for 50% of seats to go to women in local elections THE FIANNA FÁIL candidate for Dublin in the European elections, Mary Fitzpatrick, has called on Minister Phil Hogan to dedicate half of the seats in the local elections on 23 May to women.

She said the requirements that 30 per cent of candidates in the next general election are female is a “conjuring exercise”.

“In reality we have a de facto male monopoly in Irish politics at present. Less than 16% of our elected representatives in the Oireachtas are female.

Gender equality merits special consideration IPPmedia It is opportune to take stock of the situation with respect to women’s status and gender equality in the world of work.

According to a Statement by the International Labour Organization Director General Guy Ryder (ILO), delivered on the occasion of International Women’s Day, there has been notable progress in the area of national legislation with most countries having incorporated the principles of equality and non-discrimination.

Gender inequality crucial to winning battle against poverty Christian Today Christian Aid has said tackling international gender inequality is essential if the battle against poverty is to be won.

In a new report, written to inform delegates attending the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York, Christian Aid urged world leaders to be mindful of gender inequality when drafting the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Men must accept women as equals if development goals are to be achieved The Guardian Men must learn what gender equality means and stop trying to control women’s lives if future development goals are to have any real traction, the head of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said on Monday.

Speaking at a side event at the Commission on the Status of Women(CSW) in New YorkBabatunde Osotimehin, the executive director of the UNFPA, said existing power structures are preventing women from exercising their rights, which will undermine the impact of the next set of sustainable development goals.


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UK: Meet the Tory aide who thinks feminists ‘deserve a good slap’. Ire: Dublin Councillor calls for 50% of seats to go to women in local elections


Meet the Tory who thinks feminists ‘deserve a good slap’ Metro It turns out Ukip don’t have a monopoly on embarrassingly unprofessional loudmouths. A Conservative MP’s aide has been forced to quit his job after saying feminists ‘deserve a good slap’.

Stewart Green, the election agent for David Burrowes MP, has stepped aside after a Facebook rant in which he let rip against women who, in his view, use their gender as an excuse for not being very good at politics.

Image: Mark Stedman via Photocall Ireland

Dublin Councillor calls for 50% of seats to go to women in local elections THE FIANNA FÁIL candidate for Dublin in the European elections, Mary Fitzpatrick, has called on Minister Phil Hogan to dedicate half of the seats in the local elections on 23 May to women.

She said the requirements that 30 per cent of candidates in the next general election are female is a “conjuring exercise”.

“In reality we have a de facto male monopoly in Irish politics at present. Less than 16% of our elected representatives in the Oireachtas are female.

Samantha McRae

AWE apprentice met with Nick Clegg Basingstoke Gazette AN APPRENTICE at AWE met with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in Whitehall at a special reception to mark National Apprenticeship Week.

The event was also designed to support and celebrate women working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Samantha McRae, 21, who has been an apprentice at AWE for more than three years, said: “I felt absolutely honoured to be invited to such an amazing event. I never thought I would be going to something like this.

“The AWE apprenticeship scheme has given me real-life skills and knowledge with the future of a great job.

DUNCAN BARKES: Is the sisterhood taking offence for the sake of it? Chichester Observer Interestingly, it is a Conservative female MP (the country’s sports and equalities minister) who sparked the latest so-called sexism row.

She suggested that British women be encouraged to take up ‘feminine’ sports such as cheerleading and ballet.

You can imagine the screeching outrage from various feminist campaigners, including the Everyday Sexism project which predictably condemned her comments. The MP has since said her remarks were taken out of context.

But does it matter even if this were her belief? She is not suggesting women are incapable of participating in other sports, but rather that there is another possible focus. Where is the harm?

Should there be quotas for women in business and politics? THERE is a big debate in the world of those advocating gender parity and it goes like this.

Most companies and countries around the globe have a dearth of women in leadership roles. Many people agree we should be at 50-50, but they don’t agree on how to get there.

For some, progress has to be ground up, based on governments providing structures that support work-life balance, companies adjusting practices to make it possible for parents to combine work and family, women leaning in, and women in power opening the doors for the next generation of women. They believe any other path to progress will be artificial.


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UK: Cameron to host summit on FGM and forced marriage. How Labour will strengthen family life and relationships.

How Labour will strengthen family life and relationships New Statesman Today, Labour’s Policy Review is running a symposium on family life and relationships. In this period of austerity, we need to support families, and use the power of their relationships and the networks they create to help strengthen people’s capacity for resilience,  care, and good neighbourliness.

We are building on the pioneering work of women in the feminist movement and the Labour Party who, along with men like the late Malcolm Wicks, redefined family policy.

Yes and No campaigns battle for female vote Herald Scotland (Subscription) But Labour’s shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran claimed women were not being won over by the Yes campaign, which, she said, just wanted …

David Cameron to host summit on FGM and forced marriage Liberal Democrat David Cameron will play host to Britain’s first Girls’ Summit this summer to galvanise efforts to end female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

The Prime Minister will convene the meeting in July, which will focus on tackling the abuse and oppression of women that is embedded in certain cultures, at home and abroad.

Cameron and Osborne can’t avoid the truth that their policies have hit women hardest New Statesman They say a picture tells a thousand words. And the image last month of David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions – trying to deny his government was out of touch while surrounded by an all-male frontbench – said it all. The lack of women at the top of the government goes to the heart of a deeper problem. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it’s worth assessing the impact on women of the decisions this government has taken over the last four years.

David Cameron: ‘We Cannot Rest Until Someone Is Prosecuted For Female Genital Mutilation’ Huffington Post David Cameron has vowed to make 2014 the year Britain will “end violence and discrimination against women” by stepping up action on FGM, forced marriage and unfair workplaces.

In a speech to mark International Women’s Day, he said the country would not rest until someone has been prosecuted for the “disgusting” practice of female genital mutilation.

Lucy Powell: Manchester’s first female MP writes on International Women’s Day Manchester Evening News March 8 is International Women’s Day and around the world men, as well as women, will be calling for greater equality for women.

Here in Manchester we have an especially proud history when it comes to fighting for equal rights for women. From those who matched at Peterloo, through the chartists, suffragettes and socialists, brave women like Elizabeth Gaskell, Hannah Mitchell and Emmeline Pankhurst have ensured that our city has always been at the forefront of the fight for equal rights.

Jenny Willott’s speech to Spring Conference Liberal Democrats Before I was elected, I worked at Unicef and I saw there the ability of organisations, businesses and governments to do good in the world.

Unicef is dedicated to bringing the international community together to champion the rights of every child, making sure that no matter who they are or where they live, they can grow up safe, happy and healthy.

The way my friends and colleagues there were committed to building a fairer, safer society, both at home and abroad, was an inspiration then, and it still is today.  And I’m sure they believed in a stronger economy too!

Baroness Northover, who speaks for the government on women and equalities in the Lords, has … BBC News Baroness Northover, who speaks for the government on women and equalities in the Lords, has suggested there is a particular problem with the number of female MPs standing down after one term.

The issue has been in the spotlight recently after Labour claimed the Conservatives have “a problem with women” – variously citing the gender balance in the cabinet and the decision to stand downby MPs Laura Sandys, Lorraine Fullbrook, Jessica Lee and previously Louise Mensch, all elected in 2010.

UK Baroness highlights project to empower women in the Middle East Al-Arabiya UK Senior Foreign Office Minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi released a statement on Saturday in honor of International Women’s Day, highlighting the Arab Partnership Project, an initiative working to empower women in the Midde East.

The project works with governments, international organizations, and civil society in order for women in the Middle East to have better representation in government and increase their participation in political processes.

Labour leader supports Bolton Westhoughton woman’s sex education campaign The Bolton News LABOUR leader Ed Miliband has declared his support for a campaign urging the government to radically change sex education in schools.

YES Matters, a nationwide movement launched by a Westhoughton woman, is staging demonstrations in Victoria Square, Bolton today, as well as in Downing Street and Albert Square, Manchester.

Gemma Aitchison, aged 27, started the movement in the wake of a decision from the House of Lords to reject plans from the Department of Education to make a new sex education programme mandatory in schools.

Ms Aitchison met with Mr Miliband to discuss the objectification of women in society after her 16-year-old sister Sasha Marsden was murdered by a hotel owner in Blackpool in January 2013.

Blue Rinse Ladies close to outfoxing ‘coward’ Cameron on Hunting Act vote As David ­Cameron reaches the defining moments of his four-year Downing Street tenure, however, come warnings that he is in danger of committing his biggest political mistake by angering a small but increasingly influential Conservative pressure group of a rather different kind.

With international tensions simmering in the Ukraine, the economy on a knife-edge and the hoary questions of Scottish independence and a future EU referendum filling his in-tray, one would think the Prime Minister’s days are pretty well stretched.

Women Making A Difference Amal Ahmed Mohamed Amal Ahmed Mohamed, Director of Somaliland Family Health Association.

Volunteering at the hospital in Hargeisa changed my life. The Edna Adan University Hospital had a reputation for being the best maternity hospital in Somaliland because of the number of difficult cases referred there. The experiences I had there challenged everything I had taken for granted.

Why the UK is putting the spotlight on Syrian women’s issues Al-Arabiya The UK wants a strong voice for Syrian women to help reach a political solution to the Syria crisis.

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary has written to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Joint Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and Foreign Ministers from a wide range of countries calling for Syrian women’s groups and civil society to have a formal role at the Geneva2 negotiations.

Men Are Target for UN Women’s Rights Campaign Bloomberg The primary audience for the United Nations campaign for women’s empowerment and gender equality won’t be women. The main objective is to first …

Champion mum nets reception with PM This Is Lancashire A DEDICATED mother-of-two is set to raise the profile of women’s football after she was invited to meet the Prime Minister.

As reported last week, Diana Golding, of Turks Road, Radcliffe, had beaten off stiff competition to be named Tesco Mum of the Year.

Now the 44-year-old, who has devoted years to supporting her football-mad daughters, has been granted an exclusive audience with David Cameron.

Today she will travel to Downing Street with her fellow award winners for a reception for inspirational women hosted by the Prime Minister as part of International Women’s Day celebrations.

Don’t just use women in science – listen to them too The Guardian Earlier this week, the Royal Society ran another of its women in science Wikipedia edit-a-thons. As a result, we now have new or improved entries on New Zealand immunologist Barbara Farnsworth Heslop, 18th-century German astronomer Marie Meurdrac, the doctor, lawyer and suffragette Letitia Fairfield and Conservative politician and aeronautical engineer Baroness Platt.

Key figures such as Uta Frith, Susan Solomon, Nancy Rothwell, Lorna Casselton, Gertrude B Elion, Heather Ann Cubie, Bridget Ogilvie and Elizabeth Fulhame are still on a list of entries to be expanded, but simply highlighting this is an important step. You might not recognise these names, but that’s the point: part of the knotty problem of women in science is simply that we don’t hear about them.


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UK: Yes or No, female vote vital to outcome. UK party suspends member for insulting Muslim women .

Yes or No, the female vote is vital to outcome Herald Scotland Well it’s just very nice to feel wanted.

Wooed, even. How flattering to be the target of so many ardent suitors. This is a good moment to be a woman elector, because your country needs you. And bits of it are gearing up to make sure you know it; not even to mention tickling your erogenous voting zones with flattering regularity.

I’ve always been a mite dismissive of the term “women’s vote”. It makes 52% of the population sound like a lumpen polletariate programmed to react to the canvassing classes in a manner that makes Pavlov’s dug seem positively anarchic.

Surely Scottish womanhood in all its wondrous diversity can’t be that predictable or prone to plight their electoral troth like a monstrous regiment of robotic females.

UK party suspends member for insulting Muslim women A council member in the London borough of Enfield has been expelled from his party after he compared Muslim womens’ burkas to black dustbin liners.

Chris Johannides, who is of Greek Cypriot origin, was banned by the Conservative Party after making the offensive statement on his Facebook profile.

South East UKIP Euro candidate says businesses should have right not to serve women and gay … Liberal Democrat Voice Now it’s the turn of South East Euro Candidate Donna Edmunds, who’s also a Lewes Councillor. She’s reported in the Argus as saying that businesses should be free to turn away women and gay people if they please.

When asked by The Argus to clarify her statement the EU election hopeful said it would be ok for a shop owner to refuse to serve her based on no other fact than she was a woman, or if service was refused to a gay person.

She said: “I’m a libertarian so I don’t think the state should have a role on who business owners serve.

“I wouldn’t refuse to serve gay people. I’m not saying their position is a correct one. I’m saying they should be free to make that choice themselves.”

This is not the first time the Lewes councillor has garnered controversy after making statements online.

All women? No thanks, says Blears constituency Manchester Evening News IN the wake of two Greater Manchester Labour MPs announcing their departure in 2015, party hopefuls are now pre-occupied with what happens next.

And in both cases, the issue of all women short-lists will be number one priority.

In Salford and Eccles, where Hazel Blears revealed her decision to quit last month, the constituency Labour party met on Monday night to discuss their thoughts on the matter.

Widely tipped has been Peter Wheeler, long-time party and trade union activist and Blears ally.

An AWS, of course, would scupper his chances.

Scotland Tonight: Nation’s first female Labour MP discusses feminism One woman who has long campaigned for gender equality is Maria Fyfe, the only female Labour MP in Scotland when she entered Westminster in 1987.

Since leaving parliament in 2001 she has continued to be at the forefront of the battle to bring women’s voices and perspectives to the centres of power.

Later this month her memoir A Problem Like Maria: A Woman’s Eye View of Life as an MP will be published, detailing her struggles at Westminster and her fight for women’s rights.

Redditch group celebrates International Women’s Day in Parliament Redditch Advertiser IN celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD), Rebecca Blake, Labour’s parliamentary spokesman for Redditch, took a group of 11 women to London for a tour of Parliament.

She said the event, which takes place annually on March 8, was the perfect excuse to bring local women together to learn more about democracy and discuss relevant issues facing women.

She said: “Given most people are not aware that they can visit Parliament and have a free tour of the Palace of Westminster, it’s important to me that our seemingly inaccessible institutions are made more accessible to local people.

Alex Salmond leads tribute to economist who battled for gender equality Herald Scotland First Minister Alex Salmond has led tributes to the economist Ailsa McKay, who has died following a battle with cancer, praising her “astonishing contribution” in the campaign for gender equality.

Professor McKay was professor of economics at Glasgow Caledonian University, and a leading figure in making the case for women in the labour market, helping to shape government policy in this area.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood, Mr Salmond said: “Ailsa, as we all know, was a leading voice in campaigning for gender equality, not simply through her work, but as a founding member of the Scottish Women’s Budget Group..

The Meaning Of Success Needs To Change For International Women’s Day To Work Forbes Corporate leadership in the UK is more acutely aware than ever that we are heading towards International Women’s Day 2014. But it is one thing to …


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UK: Six bidding to be Labour MP for Blackburn. World: Gender equality is progress for all.

Poll paints unflattering portrait of party leaders The Times (subscription) Female voters see Ed Miliband as slimy and boring, Nick Clegg is spineless and wet, while David Cameron is posh, out of touch and rich, according to a survey.

The poll by Lord Ashcroft, the Conservative peer, asked voters to describe the party leaders. The results do not make pleasant reading for any one of the three politicians.

What do women think of the three main party leaders? The truth is not very flattering London Loves Business Women find David Cameron “pompous” and “incompetent”. The only good news for Dave is, that women seem to like Ed Miliband even less: he is “boring” and “slimy”. Still, no time for smug one-upmanship: with the general election looming, and women’s vote proving (yet again) decisive, the PM had better get his act together.

Actually, this is not an impossible mountain to climb as women are a forgiving lot. The PM must eat humble pie: women appreciate that. He must show he likes and respects his female colleagues. Women like that, too. And he must show he cares about women’s “issues” – ie their children and their elderly parents.

David Cameron had better eat humble pie with women voters – quick (blog) Women find David Cameron “pompous” and “incompetent”. The only good news for Dave is, that women seem to like Ed Miliband even less: he is “boring” and “slimy”. Still, no time for smug one-upmanship: with the general election looming, and women’s vote proving (yet again) decisive, the PM had better get his act together.

Actually, this is not an impossible mountain to climb as women are a forgiving lot. The PM must eat humble pie: women appreciate that. He must show he likes and respects his female colleagues. Women like that, too. And he must show he cares about women’s “issues” – ie their children and their elderly parents….

Parties should sign up to 40% target for women in winnable seats to overhaul ‘white, old male … WalesOnline Political parties should each sign up to a target of 40% female candidates in winnable seats at the next local council elections in a bid to improve representation, a government-backed report has concluded.

The report from an expert group on diversity in local government also called for a mentoring scheme to develop skills of possible members and a publicity and education campaign to inform the public about local government.

Chair of the group, head of Sport Wales Professor Laura McAllister, said the measures were “not about being politically correct or ticking boxes”.

The panel was established by Local Government Minister Lesley Griffiths after a survey revealed most councillors were white, male and over 60.

Uttlesford Labour party marks International Women’s Day in Dunmow Herts and Essex Observer SAFFRON Walden Constituency Labour Party will mark International Women’s Day on Saturday March 8 with an event in Dunmow.

Members of the Socialist group will be out in force in the town throughout the morning asking female residents how their lives – both locally and nationally – could be improved by Labour winning the 2015 election.

Jane Berney, Saffron Walden CLP’s parliamentary spokeswoman, will be there to meet and talk to locals.

Six bidding to be Labour MP for Blackburn Blackburn Citizen LONDON barrister Sara Ibrahim has emerged as a serious challenger to Kate Hollern in the contest to become Blackburn’s Labour candidate in the 2015 general election.

The 57-year-old borough council leader has received several nominations from ward branches. But Ms Ibrahim has also been well backed, gathering a local following.

The last of the six women to apply for the seat, which has an all-women shortlist, she is a cont ributor to the ‘Left Foot Forward, Labour blog, and appears to have support at national and regional level.

Abbie Wightwick: George Clooney, free chocolate, affordable child care – what do women really … WalesOnline Ask what women really want and you’re liable to get a lot of raucous laughter and nudge, nudge, wink wink, wisecracks.

But sadly there is more to life than George Clooney and free chocolate. What we really want, is to be able to go to work without being bankrupted by child care which doesn’t even quite cover the hours needed.

Years after maternity rights were belatedly bestowed upon women we are still limping along without high quality, affordable childcare for all.


Women candidate quota legislation could be forced on parties Irish Examiner So far only Sinn Féin and the anti-austerity parties have 30% women candidates for the coming local election, according to the Women For Election group tracking the numbers.

Mr Rabbitte said that perhaps the quota system could also be applied to local elections, but they would wait to see how the numbers stacked up for the May vote.Parties that do not field a minimum 30% of women candidates will lose half of their state funding under legislation introduced last year, but there was no similar targets set for local authorities.


Can women tip the scales in elections? Kawartha Media Group PETERBOROUGH — Where do you begin in order to get more women into leadership roles in politics?

While the YWCA and the local chapter of the Canadian Federation of University Women know rallying women to get involved in politics won’t lead to an immediate shift in the number of women sitting in Parliament, they say new research suggests there are ‘mini tipping points’ women can tackle to influence change at higher levels of government. At an upcoming Women in Politics session on March 25, the groups will turn to local women to determine where women can start.

Political parties urged to mainstream women’s rights in poll manifestos Hindu Business Line NEW DELHI, MARCH 5: With the 16th Lok Sabha election process kicking off amid growing crimes against women, nine women’s organisations have raised issues, such as political and land rights, food security, safety and employment.

“The outcome of these elections will greatly impact women’s struggles for safety, equality and progress… These issues need to be mainstreamed in the political agenda and in future Government policy,” said a statement issued by All India Democratic Women’s Association, the National Federation of Indian Women, Centre for Women’s Development Studies, YWCA, All Indian Women’s Conference, Joint Women’s Programme, among others.

Awareness drive for female voters Times of India Kolhapur: City mayor Sunita Raut stressed on the need for women to exercise their right to vote at the Tararani Sabhagriha at the district collector’s office on Tuesday. She was addressing a training organized for women representatives of the local self-governing organizations across the district.

The training was organized by the district administration for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and was attended by the representatives from the Kolhapur zilla parishad (ZP), Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC), Panchayat Samitis and municipal councils from the district.Raut said, “The voting percentage of women is less as compared to the percentage of votes cast by men during the election. It is the duty of the women representatives to educate women to participate in the election process.”

Gov’t fund sought for parties with more women candidates Rappler MANILA, Philippines – Although the Philippines is considered as the most gender equal country in Southeast Asia – and the 5th most gender equal country in the world – having more women in key government positions remains to be a work in progress.

Two Akbayan representatives want to address this gender gap by challenging political parties to field more women during elections, and government to set up a fund that will reward them for doing this.

Under House Bill 3877 or the proposed Women Participation and Representation in Political Parties Act of 2013, congressmen Ibarra Gutierrez III and Walden Bello seek to give political parties access to the Women in Political Parties Empowerment Fund if 30% of the official candidates they will field are women.

Gender equality is progress for all Ballymena Times Celebrated annually around the world on March 8, the 2014 theme for International Women’s Day, designated by the UN, is “Equality for women is progress for all”.

The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 during International Women’s Year 1975.

Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.


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UK: Women: Cameron is ‘pompous’ but good with ‘family’. Yes campaign’s challenge: winning over female voters.

All-women shortlists could be allowed in FTSE 100 Business Secretary Vince Cable has backed recommendations which could see headhunters draft women-only shortlists for board-level posts, eliminating men entirely from the recruitment process.

All-women shortlists are not currently used in the private sector because they are fraught with legal difficulties and leave companies open to sex discrimination claims from men left out of the hiring process.

But Mr Cable has asked the UK’s equality body, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, to create guidance for headhunters on when and how women-only shortlists could be used in accordance with the law, free from the threat of litigation.

Cable backs all-women shortlists for FTSE boards Financial Times (Subscription) Cable backs all-women shortlists for FTSE boards … in his attempt to reach a target of 25 per cent female representation on FTSE 100 boards by 2015.

‘Too many are straight, white men in their 60s’: How Wales should shake up local government diversity Political parties should each sign up to a target of 40% female candidates in winnable seats at the next local council elections in a bid to improve representation, a Government-backed report has concluded.

The report from an expert group on diversity in local government also called for a mentoring scheme to develop skills of possible members and a publicity and education campaign to inform the public about local government.

The report makes several recommendations for the Welsh Government, local authorities, the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), political parties and councillors ahead of the next elections in 2017.

Ed Miliband? He’s a slimy bore but David Cameron is pompous and Nick Clegg is spineless, say … Evening Standard Women think of Ed Miliband as “boring” and “slimy”, while they regard Nick Clegg as “spineless”, according to a survey.

Polling by Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft asked voters for the first word or phrase that came to mind when they thought of the political leaders.

The millionaire former Tory deputy chairman separated the words mentioned by women and not by men, and vice versa, in the 20 most frequent responses.

Women say David Cameron is ‘pompous and incompetent’ – but also good with ‘family’ A survey by former Tory chairman Lord Ashcroft asked voters to give the first word or phrase that came to mind when they thought of the country’s political leaders

Women think David Cameron is “pompous” and “incompetent”, damning new polling reveals. A survey by former Tory chairman Lord Ashcroft asked voters to give the first word or phrase that came to mind when they thought of the country’s political leaders .

Female voters name “family” when the PM is named – but also “Conservative”, “pompous” and “incompetent”. Mr Cameron fared better among men than women – but still inspired words including “Eton” and “Tory”.

Lord Ashcroft: The Conservatives don’t attract too few women. They attract too few of everyone. Conservative Home David Cameron tells Angela Eagle to “calm down, dear”. A number of female Conservative MPs decide they will not stand at the next election. Another is deselected. Ed Miliband derides the dearth of women on the government front bench. Several women are replaced in their jobs heading public bodies, prompting Harriet Harman to observe that it is “raining men in the Tory Party”.

To some, these stories and others like them constitute evidence that the Tories have a problem with women. As evidence goes, this is pretty flimsy. The academics Peter Allen and Philip Cowley have pointed out that within three years the Cameron Cabinet included exactly the same number of women as Tony Blair’s did at the same point in his premiership (though Mr Blair had rather more to choose from).

Sturgeon: winning over female voters is one of Yes campaign’s biggest challenges Herald Scotland Winning over female voters is one of the biggest challenges facing the pro-independence campaign over the coming months, according to Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. 

Polling suggests the majority of women are yet to be convinced by the Yes side’s arguments, with the latest survey by Ipsos Mori for STV showing 59% of female voters oppose independence, while 27% support it.

Speaking at a gathering of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) in Glasgow, Ms Sturgeon suggested women voters took a “more pragmatic” approach to the notion of independence.

Earlier, during her speech, the Deputy First Minister aligned herself with this position, stating that “a hard-headed analysis of what constitutional option will equip Scotland best for the future” should lead to a decision to vote Yes.

Scots Independence Poll Keeps ‘No’ Vote at 55%, Ipsos MORI Says Bloomberg The campaign against Scottish independence retained its lead in the latest poll by Ipsos MORI, with the largest gap in favor of staying in the U.K. among female voters and in more affluent areas of the country.

The survey for broadcaster STV found 55 percent of people wanted to keep Scotland in the U.K. with 29 percent in favor of independence and 16 percent undecided. The No vote was unchanged from the company’s poll in December, while the Yes vote slipped two percentage points.

Among women, 59 percent wanted to keep the status quo with 27 percent backing independence versus a split of 54 percent to 38 percent for men, Ipsos MORI said. In richest parts of Scotland, the gap in favor of remaining in the U.K. was 51 percentage points compared with six points in the most deprived areas, the survey found

Nick Clegg announces 2015 negotiating team Liberal Democrat Voice …The new team addresses the gender issue to an extent, including two very effective female parliamentarians. But with a membership of five, equal representation along any axis is impossible.  So once again the right/left, economic/social split is skewed to the right, while the gender split is skewed to the male.

Danny Alexander and David Laws provide some continuity as they bring with them their experience from 2010. David’s evidence-based analytical approach could provide a useful brake on over enthusiastic colleagues.

MP Gloria gives candid Red interview Mansfield Chad Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero has opened up about her political and private life in a revealing new interview published in women’s magazine Red.

The shadow minister for women and equalities uses the interview to champion the choices that women make in life and to detail some of the decisions that she has made to get to where she is now.

Gloria (41) speaks about how she and her husband live in different cities most of the time in order to fulfil their own personal career ambitions and how she has never wanted to have children.

She also says that she believes that women should never be asked the ‘kids question’.


Parties sticking with male candidates for local elections Irish Examiner Despite repeated promises by the four main political parties to get more women involved in local politics, only 15 out of 71 candidates standing for Cork County Council in May’s local elections are female.

Fine Gael — currently the largest party on the council with 22 seats — is fielding 28 candidates. Fianna Fáil, which has 12 seats, is fielding 22, while Labour, with seven seats, is putting nine into the field. Sinn Féin has just one seat, but is looking to increase that substantially and has put out 12 runners.

The number of seats on the council is to rise from 48 to 55 to allow for more representation following this summer’s abolition of the 12 town councils in Cork.

Women’s group calls for more family-friendly Dáil Irish Examiner The group will launch its ‘Building a Women-Friendly Oireachtas’ campaign this afternoon, which makes several recommendations to Government aimed at encouraging women to consider politics as a career.

The NWCI would like to see a 40% gender quota applied at cabinet level with maternity and paternity leave introduced to allow further flexibility.

Director Orla O’Connor said the Government needed to set an example for gender equality in Ireland.


Female French journalists want to conquer the front page West – Welfare Society Territory Female journalists rise up against gender discrimination in France. The organization of the “right representation of women in media and of gender equality in journalism” has launched today the campaign “Prenons la une!” (Let’s conquer the front page!). An initiative seeking help among both sexes to say stop to gender inequalities at work. Because female writers are tired of seeing themselves represented as professional journalists and experts on TV and radio shows for only 18%. And of being paid on average 12% less than their male counterpart. Or again, of becoming managing editors in less than 3 cases out of 10, despite their talent. What they demand and expect is very clear: the addition of gender equality principles in the deontology code of the French press; the presence of at least 50% of female journalists and experts in TV and radio broadcasting, the development of training course for the dismantlement of gender stereotypes addressed to new young writers and also useful to older and experienced ones.


Women’s rights & class struggle The Guardian (Australia) Though it was no way the beginning of the women’s rights struggle, in those four and a half decades the struggles of the women’s movement, the trade unions and left and progressive political forces resulted in many social and economic gains for women.

It was a powerful part of that impetus that saw the Whitlam Labor government came to office in the early 1970s with a platform for social change.

Women benefited from the introduction of Medibank (now Medicare) and funding for women’s health that resulted in free, safe abortions, family planning, women’s refuges and other women’s services.


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