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What women want (when it comes to politics, that is)
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"A feminisation of British party politics"


David Cameron © World Economic Forum. Photo by Remy Steinegger/flickr
While it’s not yet clear how the parties’ efforts to woo women voters will play out in this year’s election, “What is quite clear is that there has been a feminization of British party politics,” Childs says. “Women’s concerns are moving up the agenda; the parties are paying more attention.”

Evidence of this can be found easily on every party’s website; both the Labour and Conservative parties have a special policy subsection devoted specifically to “women.”

“Labour is the Party of equality for women,” the Labour site proclaims, while the Conservatives’ site says, “We want to give women real choice over their own lives.”

On its “equality” page, the Liberal Democrats write, “we also recognize that though they are not a minority, women continue to receive a raw deal, whether it’s by being paid less than their male colleagues at work or suffering poverty when they retire because of career breaks to raise children or care for relatives.”

And the Green Party – the only one of the four currently led by a woman – encourages women to get involved with the party, and its “women-friendly policies and approach.”

Aside from a true belief in the advancement of women and a desire to appear in tune with the times, there’s another motivation for all this courting of the female vote.

 “Women tend to make their minds up closer to the election,” Childs says. “Therefore, their votes are up for grabs.”


Samantha Fields
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