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Women in Parliament

Press release issued: 10 August 2001

Women in Parliament

A new study which came out on Wednesday August 8 stated that without the adoption of new measures, Britain's claim to be a mature democracy in which equal representation in parliament could be attained looked to be in jeopardy.

Dr Judith Squires and Dr Mark Wickham-Jones, Senior Lecturers in the Department of Politics at Bristol University conducted the research on behalf of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC).

The aims of the report Women in Parliament were to compare and contrast the level of women's parliamentary representation in the UK with other European and industrial countries; identify ways in which higher levels of representation have been encouraged and sustained within other parliaments; and identify the impact that women politicians have had on policy.

The key findings from the report are:

  • women are twice as likely to be elected under proportional representation as under majoritarian systems;

  • the use of quotas, at the final stage of selection, has a positive impact on the level of female representation;

  • the existence of a women's unit to ensure women's concerns are integrated in policy development is significant in relation to the level of female representation.

Dr Judith Squires said: 'If the number of women in the Parliamentary Labour Party and in the House of Commons is to be increased and sustained, some sort of quota that goes beyond shortlisting and ensures the selection of women is necessary.'

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Copyright: 2001 The University of Bristol, UK
Updated: Friday, 10-Aug-2001 09:33:41 BST

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