Worcestershire calls for action to bring more women into politics

A COUNCILLOR has called for more women to become involved in county politics.

Labour city and county councillor Ceri Stalker said she wants to see a lot more women involved in council life to try and address the current imbalance between male and female representatives on Worcestershire County Council.

Just over a quarter of councillors sitting on the authority are women.

Cllr Stalker said: “As a city and county councillor, I think it just a shame that at county there are so few women. At city level, on the Labour benches, eight out of the 15 of us are women.

“I just think that women can bring a different perspective to things. I’m not saying they are necessarily better or worse, or that men aren’t welcome, just that it would be nice to have a balance of people with different backgrounds, for example. Women can often be in more caring jobs, again not always, so it would be nice to see a wider representation.”

Currently, women make up just over a quarter of councillors on the county council with the biggest roles – including leader, deputy leader and chairman – all held by men.

Of the 57 county councillors, a quarter are women with the same figure applying to female Conservative councillors.

Three of the county council’s nine Labour councillors are women.

“Women often think that they can’t do these things, or they are not welcome, or they can’t do it because they have a family or they are on benefits,” Cllr Stalker said.

“Really there is nothing stopping anybody, female or male, if they really want to do it and we just want to welcome people to try and think whether they could represent Labour, or anybody else for that matter.

“I do think it would be a bit better if there was more of a gender balance but it is what it is. I’m not trying to knock anybody but women often come to things with a different viewpoint and I just think that women need to hear that their views are welcome.”

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