Guernsey’s Women’s Development Forum discusses how to get more women to stand for election in 2016

December 4th, 2012 by Womens Development Forum

Left to right - former Deputy Jane Stephens, Deputy Heidi Soulsby, Michelle Johansen, Deputy Paul Luxon and Deputy Michelle Le Clerc (click image to expand - image courtesy of Women's Development Forum)

More than 70 female professionals gathered together at the Les Cotils in November 2012 to discuss issues facing women in Guernsey’s States of Deliberation at the Women’s Development Forum’s ‘Vote for Change’ Seminar.

Amongst those in attendance were Deputy Michelle Le Clerc, Deputy Heidi Soulsby, Former Deputy Jane Stephens and Deputy Paul Luxon, Minister of the Public Services Department.

With only five seats out of 47, less than 11% of the States of Deliberation consists of women.

This makes the Guernsey 107th in the Women in Parliaments World rankings, on a par with countries such as Jordan, Japan and Bahrain.

Despite the EU recently dropping plans to enforce 40% female quotas on boards, individual member states are steadily taking steps to improve the gender balance within government.

With the Scandinavian countries predictably leading the way, Netherlands 40.7%, Belgium 38% and Spain 36% are not far behind.

Disappointingly David Cameron’s pre-election vision of 33% female representation has not materialised with the UK trailing at 22.3%.

It was argued that Guernsey’s own political system should become aligned to a vision of a 33% female representation by the next election in 2016.

The group discussed potential benefits of greater female representation which went beyond more female friendly policies.

“Less talk, more action” being one of the benefits suggested.

The group also looked at the possible reasons why women were not standing for election and what we could learn from the poll topping success of two of the panel members.

“The onus is on female deputies to spread the word and encourage more women to stand for the 2016 election,” Deputy Heidi Soulsby said.

Politics affects everyone and I urge the female population of Guernsey to make a stand in issues they feel strongly about and get involved,” she said.

Deputy Michelle Le Clerc added “we need to let more women know that actually being in the States of Guernsey is a great place for a woman, I for one am thoroughly enjoying the experience.”

The panel of States Members outlined the steps they are taking to raise awareness of women in politics through media profiling, increased political education at a grass-roots level and by creating career opportunities for students and school leavers.

(please click on the Women's Development Forum logo to go to their website)

1 Response to “Guernsey’s Women’s Development Forum discusses how to get more women to stand for election in 2016”

  1. Yvonne Burford

    Obviously I endorse the above, but why aim for 33%? Why not aim for 50% which is where it should be? I am sure any of the women deputies would be pleased to chat over life as a deputy with any women who might be thinking about standing.

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