UK PM to carry our major cabinet reshuffle to include more women

Written By kom nampultig on Sabtu, 12 Juli 2014 | 08.20

LONDON: During a trip to India in February 2013, British Prime Minister David Cameron admitted he had not appointed enough women to his Cabinet.

Now, over a year later, Cameron who said that his wife urges him to promote female talent is all set to rectify the mistake.

The PM is preparing to carry out a major reshuffle of his government - the final before the next big general election in 2015.

Sources in Whitehall say that the new team that he will lead in to the election will include a major number of women.

The big three, foreign secretary William Hague, finance secretary George Osborne and home secretary Theresa May will remain.

Cameron has long been criticized because only four full members of his Cabinet are women. Before the last election, he had however pledged to make sure one third of all his ministers are female, a target he has failed to match.

Cameron who is now expected to give ministerial berths to Liz Truss, Nicky Morgan, Amber Rudd and Penny Mordaunt.

PIO MP Priti Patel who was recently-appointed the UK Indian diaspora Champion by the PM is also expected to get inducted into the Cabinet.

In a conversation with Unilever employees in Mumbai last year, Cameron said that governments and big companies must do much more to encourage and promote women.

Cameron said "there aren't enough women around the Cabinet table. Organisations like the Conservative Party should be making more active efforts to seek more female recruits and then promote them. It isn't enough to open up and say you will treat everyone equally. You have to actively go out and encourage women to get involved. There are 47 female Conservative MPs, from a total of 302".

He had added "My wife likes to say that if you don't have women in 50% of top positions, you are missing out on more than 50% of the talent and I think she's right".

Lack of women in Cabinet and government is a global trend.

Globally, the percentage of women ministers improved by just over 2% in eight years time - from 14.2% in 2005 to 16.7% in 2012.

United Nations Millennium Development Goal analysis shows that by the end-January 2012, women accounted for 19.7% cent of parliamentarians worldwide - a 75% increase since 1995, when women held 11.3% of seats worldwide, and a 44% increase over the 2000 level.

UN said that while trends point to an increase in women's parliamentary representation, the rate of representation remains low overall, and progress is spread unevenly.

In India for example, in a 11-year period between 1991 and 2012 their presence has gone up marginally from 9.7% to 10.96%.

The highest level is found in the Nordic countries, especially following recent gains in Denmark and Finland.

Across the world, the most common ministerial portfolios held by women ministers have tended to be in social affairs, family and youth, women's affairs or education.

This remains largely the case, although in 2012 employment and labour emerged as the fourth most common ministerial portfolio held by women.

In Asia, women made gains in only one country — Thailand — in 2011 elections.

Sub-Saharan Africa holds the second-highest regional ranking in women's representation in parliaments, 20%.

Recent elections in Egypt saw a drop in the percentage of women parliamentarians from 12.7% to just below 2%. Only 10 women out of 508 members now hold parliamentary seats in Egypt.

More than a third of the countries with 30% or more women MPs are in transition from conflict. In the "Arab Spring" countries, opportunities opening up to ensure more women are voted into parliament have not been used to the full so far.

Forty-nine chambers achieved 30% or greater female membership, up from 41 in 2010 and a seven-fold increase over 1995.

Women also made some progress in obtaining top positions in parliament. In January 2012, women held 41 of the 271 speaker posts, just 15.1%.

This compared with 24 women in such posts in 1995. Parliaments that have a woman speaker for the first time ever include Portugal, Uganda, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the Russian Federation.

Of the 59 countries that held elections in 2011 for lower or single houses, 26 had implemented special measures favouring women, and electoral quotas were used in 17. Where quotas were used, women took 27.4% of seats, as opposed to 15.7% of seats in countries without any form of quota. Prime Minister,David Cameron,cabinet reshuffle

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