Friday, 7 May 2010
Election 2010: How far have we come for Women?
So its official, we are no longer 66th in the world behind Pakistan, United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan. We are currently edging behind the two states of Pakistan and UAE at a comfortable 52nd in the world, still 30 places at the back of Afghanistan. Has Conservative played a part in this minor jump? I think not. Contributing only 32% of female constituents, it seems like we will be lagging behind for the next decade and a half.
Labour on the other hand has had a miniature success, holding 90 seats for women despite it only being 21.8% of parliament. Afghanistan held its last election in 2005, and still managed a successful 27.3% of the seats. Similarly, Iraq has a relaxed 25.5% in parliament holding its position firmly 37th in the world ranking system. Spot the fact that the United States of America is even further behind with an abysmal 16.8% of all voting Members in the House. Isn’t it a little hypocritical to put place a government in an apparently tyrannical country with more equal numbers of women than that of your own country?
On a more positive note, Caroline Lucas MP has had a breakthrough victory for the Green Party, becoming the first Green seat in a transformed parliament. Her victory reflects the changing face of politics (we hope) and the welcome of a more environmentally-friendly government. As Harriet Harman commented last night on ITV, that “it was positive to see so many new female constituents in the North East,” referring to Julie Elliot and Bridget Phillipson winning for areas in Sunderland.
As the Fawcett Society states: if we calculate according to the steady rise of 2% of women coming into parliament, it would take 15 years to achieve a quarter of women in parliament and a colossal 72 years just to reach an equal government despite receiving the right to vote a centenary ago. And with the imminent sexist parties coming into power, the rise may be even minute; as Boris Johnson overtly states that with a Ferrari "the whole county of Hampshire was lying back and opening her well-bred legs to be ravished by the Italian stallion". Indecent doesn’t cut it.