Green spokesperson Councillor Alex Phillips calls for more women in local democracy
Brighton and Hove City Council was ranked the country’s best for gender equality – with 44% of Brighton and Hove councillors being women – according to survey results published this week by the Centre for Woman and Democracy (CFWD).
Alex, Brighton and Hove Green Group of councillor’s spokesperson on women’s rights, said: “It’s great that Brighton & Hove City Council is top of the survey rankings for gender equality, as well as being the UK’s first Green-led council.
“Women bring a wealth of skills and experience to the table.
“More women need to be involved in local democracy.
“How can councils come to the right decisions that affect the lives for half of the population if women are only 20-30% of the councillors in town halls?”
The CFWD report praised the Green Party nationally, saying 40% of the Green Party’s successful candidates in the last local election were women.
The report said nationally Labour, Tories and Liberal Democrats aren’t doing enough to make local town halls as representative as they could be.
“In the May local elections, there were 318 wards across the country where none of the “big three parties” stood a single female candidate.
Alex said there is more to be done both at Brighton & Hove Council and in the local Green Party.
“We recognise that locally the Green Party could still do better and the 39.1% share of women in the Green Group of councillors could be greatly improved upon.
“Obviously at the margins there’s an element of unpredictability that plays in who voters elect, so it’s really important to ensure women candidates are selected in winnable seats.
“If you look at our candidates rather than councillors we fielded women in winnable seats but there were usually more men in three member wards.
“With three member wards it’s one gender or the other that takes ‘the majority’.
“We urgently need to look at addressing social factors such as improving childcare provision available to councillors, because that certainly isn’t good enough at the moment.
“I’ll be working with colleagues in the Green administration and the wider Green Party to push this forward urgently.”
Of 54 Green candidates fielded in the May 2011 Brighton & Hove City Council elections 46% were women.
For more information please contact the Brighton and Hove Green Party office on 01273 766 670.