Home Our work Women in Public Life Overview ....the current situation
....the current situation PDF Print E-mail

In 2009 just 32.6% of public appointments were women. Over many years the WNC has worked to improve women's representation in public life. We feel that representation on public bodies should aim to reflect society as a whole and include people from all parts of the community, all walks of life and those with a wide range of skills and experiences. The figures make clear that many public bodies are still not benefiting from the different perspectives that women bring to the decision making process.

The increasingly high number of women with power and status in public life today do not speak solely or even largely on behalf of all women - but women's experiences as women, their perspectives and their voices can and do inform the way they do things. They are vital in ensuring that women in society have their views reflected. Women are not all the same and do not speak with one voice. So it is important that women of all backgrounds play a part - women of faith; women of no faith; women from different ethnic groups; disabled women; lesbians; younger and older women. Statistics collated by the Government Equalities Office (GEO) show continuing low rates of representation of women in public bodies.

 Women's Representation in politics across the UK - an overview

  • 19.7% House of Lords Peers
  • 4% Ethnic Minority Women Members of Parliament
  • 34% All Ministers
  • 26% Cabinet Ministers
  • 22% Members of Parliament
  • 33% Members of Scottish Parliament
  • 15% Northern Ireland Assembly
  • 46.7% Welsh Assembly Members
  • 26% Members of European Parliament
  • 0.9% Ethnic Minority women councillors

Women's Representation in Other Public Bodies

  • 9.26% High Court Judges
  • 8% University Vice-Chancellors
  • 30% Police Authority board members
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