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Fawcett Society condemns new cabinet with only one woman

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Ceri Goddard, prescription Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society, has condemned the new coalition government’s cabinet which looks set to include only one woman – Theresa May as Home Secretary: 

“The near absence of women that characterised the election campaign continued as a defining feature of the negotiations that have left us with one lone woman in the cabinet.

“It’s as though feminism never happened. It seems the default response of politics in political crisis is to revert to type – a men-only zone.
This is not only bad for women, it’s bad for everyone as we all lose out and our democracy is just plain flawed without women’s vital contribution. 

“Our concern is that this is not just a blip or a one off example of expediency, but a tone setting development that will see women continue to be marginalised.

“It would seem that while many of our politicians have managed to overcome party tribalism and age old loyalties to form a coalition, this new approach to politics has not seen them cast off the sexist attitudes that mean women, as a rule, are excluded from the top tier of British government.

“Fawcett will be watching closely to see how policies of particular relevance to women’s rights and around equalities in general have fared in the rush to combine manifestos.

"The signs are not good so far. Even within the key debates of electoral reform and the economy, where you would expect discussion around how to tackle massively gender imbalanced parliament and how best to ensure women don’t bear more than their fair share of deficit cutting measures, we’ve not heard a whimper from all the brave new thinkers or statesmen combined.

“A 90 per cent male cabinet is just not something that Fawcett and millions of other women will tolerate – it’s utterly unacceptable. The new coalition must right this wrong immediately.”

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