Florence Ogram | Contributing Writer | Friday, 8 September 2017

Government Turns Down Proposals Aiming To Increase Female MPs in Commons

Government Turns Down Proposals Aimed At Increasing Female MPs in Commons

The Debrief: Six proposals were made, six were denied…

The government have dismissed six proposals put forward by The Commons Women and Equalities Committee calling to increase the number of female members in parliament. Ministers have faced criticism for showing their 'lack of ambition' in trying to tackle the gender imbalance. 

Currently, men make up 70% of the total MPS. Worrying reports from the IPPR showed that 3,000 female candidates would be needed for there to be gender parity in local government.  

The committee published the proposals in January, which included fines for parties that fail to meet targets for female candidates at general elections, as well as a law to force local governments to have a minimum domestic target of 45% female candidates in the general election. 

Despite the rejection, Downing Street said it 'strongly supports the aim to increase the diversity of the House of Commons.' However, they said they did not believe in setting legislations to improve the situation. 'The government shares the committee’s view that political parties have primary responsibility for ensuring that women come forward to represent them and are put in positions from which they can win seats.'

Sophie Walker, the leader of the Women’s Equality party responded to the outcome. She said 'by rejecting every one of the women and equalities committee’s recommendations, the government has let all women down and continues to stifle true democracy in which all voices are heard.” She went onto say 'we will continue our challenge to the old politics of Westminster by mobilising our activists on our clear pathway to getting more women into politics.'

The government shared that they are currently using various methods to improve the number of women in government, for example training and mentoring. 

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