The 300 Group- women in politics- still a hidden struggle?

(124 Posts)
EachPeachPearMum Sat 13-Jun-09 00:20:58

The 300 Group- an all party campaign for women in parliament, politics and public life.
Do you think there is a place for a group like this nowadays? Should women in politics be on the agenda in electoral reform?
(Were you even aware it had folded? I wasn't... but I am hardly up-to-date on these matters)

Should we be supporting and promoting women's entry into politics? Is it necessary? Is it unfair?

Would greater numbers of female politicians lead to an increase in awareness of issues that affect women or improved legislation?

There isn't even a wiki page for the 300 group - which I find astonishing...
though I have found a few useful links on google:

Piece about the founding of the 300 group

Evidence given by Lesley Abdela to parliament on female representation- May 2009

Lesley Abdela in the Guardian last year

ThingOne Sat 13-Jun-09 17:15:07

The parties have, in general, managed to beat the selection panels around the head about being fair, but they cannot change every local member. The local selection panels tend to sift through all applicants and decide which few to put forward for a vote amongst party/TU members.

The Tories have tried imposing candidates, and have tried "primaries" where any local resident could vote but these moves have not been hugely successful. The Labour party has imposed candidates and it's always unpopular.

I don't know what the answer is. I worked on this for years before children and thought I had some answers. But I'm royally fucked off about it all now.

scottishmummy Sat 13-Jun-09 17:17:16

saw cameron on tv think he was trying to drag some codgers in 21stC

policywonk Sat 13-Jun-09 18:03:33

Eh? Your tone is routinely derisory and unpleasant.

'kind of obvious'
'cherrypicking little causes'
'crock of shite... keep kidding yourselves'

Jog on, love.

scottishmummy Sat 13-Jun-09 18:07:21

have a day off demonising contrary opinions is clearly having an effect,hen

i of course shall continue to post.and not a jog or elevated hr in sight

Swedes Sat 13-Jun-09 18:41:19

<removes almost empty 1L bottle of cheap whisky from ScottishMummy's reach>

policywonk Sat 13-Jun-09 18:50:24

grin Swedes

SM, you really do seem to be struggling with basic logic here:

1) you pepper the thread with unpleasant remarks aimed at those who disagree with you. You are met with courtesy.
2) I mistakenly attribute a point of view to you.
3) You run around shrieking about snidery and demonisation.

I'm beginning to think we might need to introduce some positive discrimination measures for you

dittany Sat 13-Jun-09 19:08:10

"so if it is alright to promote and positively discriminate for a gender,so can one do so on basis of

That happens already though, that is the point.

There is a huge amount of discrimination in favour of white men, particularly upper class ones. It's why half the shadow cabinet are white male old Etonians.

We don't have white upper class men holding nearly every single position of power and influence in this country because of their talent and ability generally, it's because right through the system there are forces at work to keep women, people of colour and working class people out.

If you're offended by discrimination you should be decrying the actual discrimination that is going on right at this minute.

There is no democracy without representation and at the moment our sexist political parties are awash with discrimination and prejudice against women, as is a good chunk of the electorate.

scottishmummy Sat 13-Jun-09 19:09:20

lets all piss ourselves at derogatory stereotypes.Drunk jocks & whisky

do you also do
jewsish people
black people
or just cheap shots at scottish

pull yourselves together.obviously i dont feel there has been a compelling enough case made

i don't conceptualise women as homogeneous mass,so don't think we necessarily have a shared common ethos and/or values

and yes swedes i do find this idea risible
"There is really only one way to solve it and that's for women to only vote for female candidates until there is greater representation."


"Perhaps Mumsnet could field a candidate in all seats?"
>what like one of the hang em flog em loons
>or precious moments mums must stay at home mamas

MN does nicely illustrate the depth and range of opinions held,and how deeply we all can feel

so lets see if everyone can have a dialogue without resorting to more mudslinging

scottishmummy Sat 13-Jun-09 19:18:06

dittany of course discrimination offends me to my core

which is why i abhor thought of taking discrimination and try use it as a agent of social change.anyway you wrap it up or spin it discrimination isnt a positive for promoting equitable change

structural change and political agitation is perhaps way to facilitate change.yes it wil take time

but on otherhand we have benefitted enormously from enlightened policy and agitation
eg equal pay act
women at uni
women in professions

i know there are societal and class injustices but some inroad have been made

dittany Sat 13-Jun-09 19:24:57

Until women have an equal share in political, economic and social power, which at the moment are all overwhelmingly held on to by men, we'll need to find solutions to those issues. Overall very few inroads have been made. Women are still at the bottom of the heap in almost every sphere.

As discrimination is at work already, there is no reason not to bring it out into the open and work to give women equal representation and a fair chance.

You do seem to abhor the thought of fairness a lot more than you abhor the gross unfairness that women face at the moment ScottishMummy. We've had forty years of the last round of feminism, it's over two hundred years since Mary Wollstonecraft wrote The Vindication of the Rights of Women yet still men cling to their unearned privileges. I would argue it's time for more drastic action.

dittany Sat 13-Jun-09 19:26:48

People hate Harriet Harman because she's a feminist and actually has done some good work for women.

A man in her position would be admired and seen as possible future leader, instead she's subject to a barrage of misogyny.

scottishmummy Sat 13-Jun-09 19:28:25

i abhorr harman because she talks divisive rubbish.dont recognise her brand of feminism at all

dittany Sat 13-Jun-09 19:29:22

Could you provide some examples please ScottishMummy. She pretty much toes the Labour party line apart from on some feminist issues.

scottishmummy Sat 13-Jun-09 19:32:45

plans to allow firms to discriminate in favour of female and ethnic minority job candidates when appointing for a job.

that is divisive and unfair,promoting positive discrimination in workplace

dittany Sat 13-Jun-09 19:34:46

What's divisive and unfair is the current practice of employers overwhelmingly discriminating in favour of white men to the detriment of everybody else.

I'm pretty sure Harman wouldn't recognise your "brand" of feminism either, but then I don't think many feminists would either. Maybe mens rights activists would feel more postive towards your opinions.

scottishmummy Sat 13-Jun-09 19:38:50

how curious any of you encounter a divergent view and immediately attack
>oh you are like a man
>no feminist would recognise your pov SM>all mens rights that you SM

do try compose a cogent argument-without need to be so personal

policywonk Sat 13-Jun-09 20:07:53

Interesting document here from the Equal Opportunities Commission (as was) about the selection process for parliamentary candidates in the UK. Stark differences between male and female candidates when it came to views about positive discrimonation.

policywonk Sat 13-Jun-09 20:09:52

I've been tremendously cheered by having grown-up feminists like Harman and Smith in the cabinet. I know they've done some shite stuff too, but their work on equality, DV, anti-trafficking etc has been really admirable IMO. One very clear illustration of why someone's sex does make a difference.

scottishmummy Sat 13-Jun-09 20:15:43

ok so to what to you attribute "stark difference" between men and women candidates on positive discrimination

can you clarify what you mean
are men Anti
Women Pro
is that what you mean

LeninGrad Sat 13-Jun-09 20:19:08

So how do we go about achieving global improvements for all? How do you get those who have to relinquish some of what they've got in order to even things up?

SM, you mentioned structural changes, what kind? How? Who's going to do it? What's their motivation? And political agitation - where, if anywhere, do you see that coming from? What will be driving force for it?

scottishmummy Sat 13-Jun-09 20:27:10

structural change
>increase spending in failing schols
>reduce class sizes in failing schoold
>employers given incentive to offer state school pupils interships/taster sessions
>encourage mentorship for pupils by someone in chosen field
>women in professions come talk to pupils
>financial incentive for poorer pupils to attend Uni/stay on at school.means tested

agitate and be active on your chosen interest
petitions etc
we vote MP they are our representatives

all this will take time.of course

policywonk Sat 13-Jun-09 21:32:21

Positive discrimination is used in the South African parliament, where women now occupy 30 per cent of the seats. Female parliamentarians there have devised a process whereby all governmental spending is analysed to to see whether its outcomes unreasonably favour men.

Positive discrimination is practised in Rwanda (see post below). Female parliamentarians there worked across party lines to repeal laws prohibiting women from inheriting land.

Positive discrimination is practised in Costa Rica. A 2002 study analysed parliamentary practices in the country and found that women parliamentarians were much more effective in terms of successfully transforming bills into acts.

Sweden has used positive discrimination in its parliament for decades. Nobody disputes that it is one of the most equal (in sex terms) societies in the world. Ditto Norway, on both counts. In the Nordic countries (which used quotas), women make up 41.4 per cent of MPs. In non-Nordic European countries that drops to 19.3 per cent. And remember, these are countries that have long recognised, supposedly, the justice of the feminist case for equal pay and equal representation.

No country has come close to achieving gender parity in parliament without using quotas.

dittany Sat 13-Jun-09 21:36:55

Can see why you call yourself policywonk, policywonk. grin

policywonk Sat 13-Jun-09 21:40:36

To be fair, 'googlehound' would probably be more appropriate in this instance wink I knew about Sweden (obviously) and Rwanda, but not about the others. 22 countries use quotas in national parliaments now.

scottishmummy Sat 13-Jun-09 21:45:06

anyway back to my unanswered query

ok so to what to you attribute "stark difference" between men and women candidates on positive discrimination

can you clarify what you mean
are men Anti
Women Pro
is that what you mean

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