Just one in three councillors in England is a woman, with just 12% of combined authority representatives female. The Fawcett Society's latest report, 'Does local government work for women,' surveyed female councillors and found that they are held back by structural and cultural barriers, facing sexism from fellow councillors, including in the public council chamber, and sexism within the party political structures. The culture,practices and protocols of local government create unnecessary barriers to participation for women with caring responsibilities. We have found an outdated culture which holds local government back – and which now must modernise to be fit for purpose in the 21st century.
The report recommends:
- gender-balanced leadership with 50% of cabinet roles and committee chairs to be held by women.
- maternity, paternity and parental leave policies
- remote attendance using technology
- recruitment and promotion of BAME women
- powers to deal with bullying, sexism and harassment
- For further information and to view the report click here.