We are committed to helping members improve their diversity and inclusion across all areas and we are working with central government to encourage more women to enter politics.
- The first women won the right to vote in local elections in 1869 and the first female councillors were elected in 1907. Despite the franchise being extended to women over 100 years ago, the Fawcett Society found that only 35 per cent councillors are women .
- Our members tell us that a lack of pension contributions and parental leave, and the severity of the abuse and intimidation directed at those at in public life, act as barriers to standing as a councillor or taking on responsibilities as a cabinet member.
- We are committed to helping members improve their diversity and inclusion across all areas and we are working with central government to encourage more women to enter politics.
- While more women than ever before are choosing to become councillors, there is still more work to do. As part of our sector-led improvement offer , we have formulated a series of programmes, campaigns and toolkits to help our members encourage and support women, and those from other underrepresented groups, to run for political office.
- The LGA’s Be a Councillor campaign is at the heart of our work in ensuring that local government reflects the communities it represents. This campaign aims to encourage more people to stand as a councillor and includes focus on encouraging women and under-represented groups to engage with, and enter, politics.
- Last year we launched a toolkit to help councils create underlying policies, procedures, ethos and environment that encourages and empowers women, parents and carers to become local councillors and take on leadership positions.
- In response to growing concerns about the impact of the increasing level of public intimidation and toxicity of debate on our country’s democratic processes, particularly at a local level, we published a ‘civility in public life’ report which sets out our programme of work in this area.
- Councils have a positive impact on the lives of their female residents. As well as encouraging them to enter public life, councils provide a range of services that improve the lives of women. This includes providing support services to new mothers, protecting domestic abuse victims, and tackling Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
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