William Eichler 05 April 2018

Political parties must report ‘gender gap’, campaigners say

Campaigners are calling on the Government to enact legislation which will force political parties to report their 'gender gap' when it comes to election candidates.

With the passing of the deadline for large companies to reveal their gender pay gap, the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) has called on politicians to 'look closer to home’ at gender inequality in politics.

Currently only 33% of local councillors and 32% of MPs in the UK are women.

ERS urged Whitehall to enact Section 106 of the Equality Act which would require parties to publish the demographic makeup of their election candidates.

The campaign group argues this is the first step towards tackling the gender gap in politics and to improving diversity.

‘Now that companies have revealed their gender pay gaps, it’s time UK parties tackled the inequality in their own backyards,’ said Jess Garland, director of policy and research at the Electoral Reform Society.

‘We’ve seen businesses play their part — now Government and political parties must play theirs in showing their diversity figures.

‘Much like the gender pay gap, political inequality is holding back progress in this country.

‘The Women and Equalities Committee has already called for Section 106 of the Equality Act (2010) to be enacted to tackle this problem.

‘The Government's refusal to act on this legislation runs against their commitment to open government.’

For more on the gender gap read our feature, 'The gender pay gap: local government's national perspective.'

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