Don’t forget women, London campaigns urged

The upcoming London mayoral election reflects wider problems about women’s involvement in politics, a woman’s rights campaign group says.

A recent Ipsos Mori poll carried out for the Observer newspaper on April 8th and 9th found one-third of women had yet to decide how to vote.

Fawcett Society director Dr Katherine Rake says this shows “all the candidates have ground to make up if they are to engage women fully”.

The organisation has published the results of its interviews with leading candidates on women’s concerns in the capital.

Incumbent Ken Livingstone said he would concentrate on economic equality and fair pay for women while Liberal Democrat candidate Brian Paddick favoured concentrating on ethnic minority women. Conservative candidate Boris Johnson’s campaign did not participate.

According to Dr Rake ethnic minority women in the capital and around the country suffer from a “severe under-representation” in British politics.

The Fawcett Society is launching its ‘Femocracy’ campaign team hoping to highlight what it calls the “political exclusion” of ethnic minority women in the UK.

It plans on holding a series of events up and down the country to promote the group’s confidence in political participation.

“The severe under-representation of ethnic minority women in British politics, coupled with low voter registration rates amongst some ethnic minority groups, means ethnic minority women are not being seen or heard politically,” Dr Rake added.

“This situation must change.”