UK politics, 2010 style

UK politics, 2010 style

As the UK prepares to approach May’s General Election,  I was pleased to see an update on the Downing Street Project,  now in its second year, on the Huffington Post

Here’s an extract from founder Indra Adnan’s article:

This is a call for the whole field of gender politics to be expanded, not just shifted in a new direction. We want more involvement of people – men as well as women who have never thought of themselves as feminist – as a complement to the vital work being done already by women’s organisations everywhere. Our plan is to host facilitated spaces for men and women to work together, gender-consciously, on creating a new understanding of how gender impacts the whole of society. More dialogue than debate, more play than delivering clear objectives. We’ll be starting a model Downing Street Cabinet – 51% women, 49% men – giving participants the powers to add or subtract government departments..”

Given that,  according to the Centre for Women & Democracy’s research,  the UK is now in position #73 (out of 187) in the international league table of  women’s representation in parliaments, it seems clear that interventions of this type are critical if we are ever to change the make up of our government and have it more closely mirror our electorate.  

When I checked out the prospective Parliamentary candidates for my own constituency,  I was dismayed (but not surprised)  to learn that the three main parties each have a man of the same ethnicity running … so we’re lacking racial as well as gender diversity in this bit of west London, unlike in Brighton where one constituency has an all female candidate list.

This is one of only ten constituencies where the candidates are all women as compared to 205 where the slate is entirely men only. Check out the Fawcett Society’s What About Women? pages for more on their campaign to make sure that women’s voices will be heard in this election.


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