Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Women forge ahead in Green politics

Cllr Rebecca Thackray, Jean Lambert MEP, and Rebecca Findlay, Streatham Parliamentary Candidate, campaigning outside Lambeth Town Hall for a living wage

In a statement for International Women’s Day, Lambeth Councillor Rebecca Thackray said: ‘Women comprise 51% of the world’s population, yet hold only 16% of the world’s parliamentary and congressional seats. Women make a huge contribution to family, society and healthcare and I would like to see this reflected in our political representation.’

The Green Party aims to lead the way in putting forward female candidates in local government elections. Recently in the North of England and Midlands, 42% of Green Party candidates were women, a clear 9% ahead of Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Councillor Thackray commented: ‘The benefit of having women serve political roles is not just an issue of numerical equality. Women MPs address issues of particular concern to their gender but which have huge repercussions for families, such as health, domestic violence and low wages. I am a feminist: I also believe that it does not serve men to have women so poorly represented.’

Caroline Lucas, the leader of the Green Party, welcomes the creation of Green Party Women to work in conjunction with an informal group, Women By Name, which has long acted within the party to support and encourage women members to take up prominent roles.

According to Councillor Thackray, ‘The barriers to women entering politics are, bluntly: confidence, culture, childcare and cash. It is in the interests of both men and women to eradicate these barriers.’