Monday, 26 January 2009

Why are the women so silent?

Reading through the agenda for this week's full council meeting it is glaringly obvious that we still have quite a gender gap on the City Council. Admittedly we do have a reasonable number of female councillors (although more would be nice) but the motions tabled, and the questions submitted, are still overwhelmingly from male councillors.

I havent counted things the Exec Board members move in their role as exec members in the count (so obviously Flo Clucas' role in moving the budget isn't acknowledged) - but looking at motions there are two from women balanced against 15 from men. (Where there are several names on a motion I have taken the first one as this is usually the originator of the idea). Women are a little more active when it comes to asking questions , but not that much. There are 9 questions submitted by women (three of them by me ) and 23 by men.

Anyone looking at the agenda would assume there were virtually no active female councillors!

OK, not everyone likes full council meetings and some may consider it a drain on their time. But if you accept that you have to turn up then clearly you ought to accept that you should play a role.

This makes me wonder if in fact we need to do some more work to encourage some of the female councillors a bit more. Or perhaps we ought to tell some of the men to take a back seat every now and then.

I don't know what the answer is but I have to say this worries me.

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