Gender equality on the Front Benches

This week Labour had a reshuffle of the Shadow Parliamentary Cabinet. While reading the list of new appointees, I couldn’t help but notice the number of women in the Labour Shadow Cabinet – 15 to be precise! Just under half of the thirty-two members of the Labour Shadow Cabinet are women. Of course, given that over half (51%) of our population is female this should not come as surprise, but sadly in British politics this is still the exception.

Just look across the aisle at the Tory/Lib Dem front bench and you will spy a sea of suits and ties – a Cabinet that is vastly dominated by men.

Yet again, it is Labour leading the way in terms of gender equality and political parity in the UK. Indeed, half of our Labour MEPs are now women in comparison to the Tories 30%.  (The Lib Dems have 100% female representation in the European Parliament, but given they have only one MEP it is perhaps not so spectacular an achievement!)

At Cameron’s last reshuffle he increased the number of female cabinet members from four to five – quite the increase…

How can this coalition claim to look out for the needs of women if it has only five women out of 33 members?

How can this coalition claim to look out for the whole of the UK when it shows a total disregard for more than half of our population?

If we look further at the representation of Cameron’s Cabinet, whilst Ed’s Cabinet has 15 women, Cameron has 14 members who were educated at Oxbridge. I’m afraid the message couldn’t be clearer. Under the Tory/Lib Dem Coalition, inequality propagates and proliferates.

It is only under a Labour government that the British people will be properly represented. If you want a government that represents the whole spectrum of British society, a truly inclusive and representative government, vote Labour.