Laura Sharman 08 September 2021

No gender equality in local councils until 2077 data reveals

No gender equality in local councils until 2077 data reveals image

Only 35% of councillors across England are women - which is less than a 1% increase since the 2019 elections - new data has revealed.

The Fawcett Society warns that at the current rate of change, gender parity in local councils won't occur until 2077.

The campaigning charity also found that around three quarters of local councils still don’t have maternity or paternity police in place for their councillors.

Felicia Willow, Fawcett Society interim chief executive, said: 'This was a bumper year for new councillors – but the data shows that sadly we have more of the same. Almost all councils are dominated by men. The pace of change in local government is far too slow.

'During the pandemic we saw how significantly councils matter for women, whether that’s the care packages for disabled women that were disrupted or the children’s centres for new mothers that suffered closures.

'In light of this stagnation, political parties which are failing to make progress need to urgently set out their action plans for a change of course. Councils are making some headway with policies – now we need to see action from the parties.'

The Fawcett Society is calling for all councils to implement maternity and paternity policies and for the Government to make remote meetings legal for all councils in order to support women with caring responsibilities.

It also wants parties to collect comprehensive, accurate election candidate diversity data and set out targets for increasing women’s representation.

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