- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
An influential group of Assembly Members has published a report on how to boost the number of women in public life.
Mid and West AM Joyce Watson is a member of the Welsh Assembly’s Women in Democracy Caucus. The cross-party group of AMs was established by the Presiding Officer, Dame Rosemary Butler AM, as part of her Women in in Public Life campaign.
Since January last year, the group has collected evidence from parliaments around the world on how to increase women’s representation.
This month the Caucus published its report. It contains 10 recommendations that aim to tackle some of the barriers to entering public office faced by women.
Commenting on the report, Mrs Watson said:
“There are far fewer women than men in public life and the ripples of that imbalance reach every area of society.”
The Caucus’s ten recommendations would:
• encourage the Welsh Government not to award major grants or contracts to organisations without women on their board (by ‘major grants or contracts’ we refer to grants and contracts for over 250K);
• seek a progress update from Assembly Party Leaders on the steps that they have taken to ensure an increased representation of women Members for the Fifth Assembly;
• invite the Remuneration Board to look at the specific pastoral requirements of Assembly Members, particularly those with caring responsibilities;
• encourage their party groups to adopt a more skill-based approach founded on the general principles of fair recruitment in order to encourage a wider range of women to put themselves forward for elections;
• urge the Assembly to consider gender specific support and one to one coaching for new and returning female members in the Fifth Assembly;
• work with broadcasters in Wales to ensure that we see more ‘expert’ women on our television screens and radio programmes;
Labour AM Joyce Watson added:
“We set out to find ways to ensure women are fairly represented at all levels of public life in Wales. These recommendations are a step in the right direction.”