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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Women and politics

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Meg welcomed the publication today of the Electoral Commission’s latest report, Gender and political participation. The report examines the participation of women in politics and suggests a number of reasons for this including practical barriers for women with small children and the perceived male dominated nature of politics. In addition, the research found that women continue to have a weaker sense of their own ability to make a political difference than men.


 


By contrast the report found that women now cast their vote as regularly or more often than men; the gender gap in turnout that existed before 1979 has now closed and may have been reversed. New methods of voting such as all-postal ballots appear to be reinforcing this trend; in all-postal voting areas in the 2003 local elections, women’s turnout was 13% higher than men’s.


 


In addition the presence of female MPs significantly increased political activism among women. In seats where a woman MP was elected in 2001, turnout among women was 4% higher than men. In those same constituencies women were also much more likely to agree that government benefits people like me (49% compared to 38% in constituencies with a male MP).


 


Meg commented that “Having a more representative Parliament really does matter to a huge proportion of society.”


 


 


Electoral Commission:  www.electoralcommission.org.uk


 


Also the Fawcett Society, the UK’s campaign for equality between women and men:


www.fawcettsociety.org.uk


 


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