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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Dods ‘Woman of the Year 2007’ Awards

Friday, March 9, 2007

On International Women’s Day the Dods Woman of the Year awards were held in London. Meg was one of the judges, and gave the following remarks at the event.


It’s pleasing to be here this evening, and to be able to recognise women who have made such a positive impact on society.


Women make up over half the population, but you all know we are seriously under-represented in public and political life. In the Westminster world women make up a fifth of MPs and a fifth of peers.


In Scotland the situation is better with women making up 39% of Scottish MPs. Whilst in Wales, the shinning star in the UK, women make up 52% of Assembly members.


It is very encouraging that the current male to female ratio of Members of the Youth Parliament is 49%:51%. This indicates young women and girls are equally interested in politics as young men and boys, and bodes well for the future.


Turning to local politics - in England 29% of local councillors are women, however of that only 2.2% are from an ethnic minority community. This situation needs to be tackled, which is why my department is conducting an independent review of the incentives and barriers to serving on local councils. This review will look at a range of issues, including whether difficulties getting time off work discourages people from attempting to become councillors.


Looking at the wider areas of public life - women currently hold 35.5% of public appointments, an increase from 32% in 1997. 6.5% (489) of public appointments are held by women from black and minority ethnic communities.


Women are well represented at local level, holding 43% of appointments to NHS Trusts, and make up 49.4% of magistrates and 54% of school governors.


I’d like to thank everyone here, and particularly the women who have been nominated.  As a judge I can personally attest to the very high calibre of nominees, choosing who would receive each award was difficult.  Making it to the shortlist is an accomplishment in itself and you should all be extremely proud.


The photo shows Meg presenting Edna Sutton, the Executive Director of Education at Barnsley Council, the award for ‘Local Government Personality of the Year’.


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