Tag Archives: female candidates

Opinion: Can pregnant women stand for Parliament?

Standing in the crypt of St Mary’s Church Lewisham asking local Lib Dem members to select me as their parliamentary candidate last summer I did wonder if my very pregnant stomach would put them off. During the selection campaign only one had asked me how I was going to do it with a new baby. “With the help of my partner, several doting grandparents and how about you too?”, was my reply.

Having fought an election campaign while pregnant, then through the first eight months of my baby daughter’s life, I want to let other women thinking of doing the same know that it is possible. It even has some advantages provided you get the help you need to do it.

Why should other Lib Dem Voice readers care? Because as Dinti Batstone highlighted in her research for the party into the under-representation of women among our MPs, ‘too many experienced female candidates self-select out just as their male contemporaries are fighting winnable seats’. And the main reason for that is the perceived incompatibility of the task with family life.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 12 Comments

Opinion: Make politics fit women’s lives, not vice-versa

For today’s women “motherhood, not sexism, is the issue”. So says The Economist (“We Did It”, 30 December 2009), noting that “women who prosper in high-pressure companies in their 20s drop out in dramatic numbers in their 30s and then find it almost impossible to regain earlier momentum”.

Could the same be true in politics?

Nearly 80% of current male Lib Dem MPs first entered Parliament in their 30s and 40s. Yet our female MPs were overwhelmingly elected in their 20s or 50s, and not one was first elected while raising young children. Achieving the same age spread as the men could …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 9 Comments

Opinion: Mind the Gender Gap!

Surprisingly, fewer women (18%) than men (21%) support the LibDems, while for both Labour and the Tories the opposite is true.

Why?

Perhaps an explanation lies in Ming’s remark in Brighton last week that “we can’t represent a country if we’re not representative of it”.

School-gate mums and working parents are an important demographic, but not one of our parliamentarians is a mother of young children. It’s hard to show we empathise with family issues when women juggling politics and family life are all but invisible in the Lib Dems.

Posted in Op-eds | 16 Comments
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  • matt
    During these difficult times, wouldn't the party be better placed thinking outside the box on how to reach out and engage communities without focus leaflets? ...
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    This is absolutely the wrong debate to be having right now, we should be calling on the government to make it easier for people to comply with the lockdown rest...
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    @ Ruth Bright, I commend the young person you mention. For her sake and that of others, we need to fight on their behalf. It is interesting , but not surpr...
  • Daniel Henry
    Seems sensible to me. This would allow us to keep a close economic relationship with the EU, while giving the Country breathing room to work through the domest...
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    I have no problem with lesser steps along the way but we should realise that anything we suggest will be met with accusations that we are really Rejoining The E...