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A reflection on women in democracy for International Women’s Day

Published: 08/03/2019

For International Women’s Day, Cllr Rosanne Kirk at City of Lincoln Council reflects on women in democracy and explains why she wants to see more women play an active role in politics…

“As a woman in democracy myself, I know that times are changing and women are slowly feeling empowered to overcome barriers to their rightful participation in politics, and this slow increase has been seen across the world.

“In 1998, the worldwide percentage of women in national parliament was 11.7 per cent whereas today, the make-up of women in national parliament is 24.3 per cent.

“This is still largely disproportionate. In the UK, 32 per cent of the make-up in the House of Commons is women, which believe it or not, is at an all-time high.

“Given these figures, it’s clear that there is still a long way to go for women in democracy as we suffer from a serious lack of female representation across the world. Men still make up at least 80 per cent of national parliament in 10 EU Member States, as well as being the leaders of 10 EU political parties.

“Reducing inequality is something that is close to my heart, and for a world where around 50 per cent of the population is female, it doesn’t feel right that we aren’t getting the equal representation we need in democracy.

“Having more women in politics will mean that certain issues such as gender-equality, gender-based violence and parental leave and childcare are more likely to be covered, and a female’s perspective will be useful in making key political decisions.

“We can change the way politics is perceived for women. Rwanda is the top country for its political make-up of women, seeing a record-breaking 64 per cents of seats for women candidates, which is great to show that women are important members in democracy.

“The more women who get involved in politics, the more women will feel confident enough to get involved, and that’s why we want more women to consider it. It is a great opportunity to make a positive impact in your community, to let your voice be heard and promote gender equality in society.

“Women are powerful and this is seen everywhere. Politics isn’t a man’s world, so why shouldn’t we have our say in democracy?”