Mayor Election 2016 / News

Mayor hopeful – more women needed in politics

By louis emanuel, Tuesday May 3, 2016

Lib Dem mayoral candidate Kay Barnard has used her platform to call on more women to stand for election.

Barnard is one of just two women out of 13 candidates in total standing to be mayor of Bristol this Thursday.

She said the “continual exclusion of women” had created a “democratic deficit” in Bristol and beyond.

Barnard’s party is fielding just 27 women out of a total of 70 council candidates (39 per cent). The Green Party have the highest proportion of women standing for election with 25 of 58 candidates, or 43 per cent. The conservative Party have the lowest, with 34 per cent, just behind Labour, with 35 per cent.

Barnard said: “I am very often asked why I am standing in this election. As well as standing on a platform of a Six to Fix manifesto with a genuine desire to be the mayor for all of Bristol, I also put myself forward because candidates standing for political office should reflect the diverse peoples and cultures of the area they are seeking to represent.

“Yet the continuing exclusion of women from local politics in Bristol is a serious democratic deficit.It is a sad fact that women are under-represented.

“Things are slowly improving but it cannot be ignored that in the two mayoral elections in Bristol to date – in 2012 and in a few days’ time – there has been a total of twenty-eight candidates. Just three of the candidates to put their name forward have been women.

“Having more women involved in elected positions, whether that be as a mayor of the city or as local ward representatives, is very important, not only as a matter of principle but because diversity brings with it different skills and judgments.”

Women currently make up 34 per cent of the total 70 councillors at Bristol City Council. There are two men and three women in George Ferguson’s cabinet, although Fi Hance and Daniella Radice job-share the role of assistant mayor for neighbourhoods.

 

Read more: Will 50-50 campaign work?

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