HC Deb 25 June 1964 vol 697 cc607-8
18. Dame Edith Pitt

asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation if he is satisfied that sufficient women are playing a part in the work of his Department in the developing countries; and if he will pay special attention to the information given on the opportunities for such service to women's colleges, senior schools, and voluntary organisations.

Mr. Carr

Women are playing a valuable part in the developing countries particularly in health and education. I would like this contribution to increase and I will bear in mind my hon. Friend's suggestion about publicity.

Dame Edith Pitt

What proportion of those serving overseas are women? Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that the women already in the field are making a full and able contribution to this important work?

Mr. Carr

I am certainly most satisfied on the last point. I cannot give statistics, because, hitherto at least, my Department has not kept statistics on the basis of separating men and women. I can, however, tell my hon Friend, for example, that of the 431 teaching appointments made solely by my Department last year, only 64 were women, and we would like there to be many more. Anything that we can do to get more women, we shall do.

Mrs. Castle

What steps is the right hon. Gentleman's Department taking to combat sex prejudice in the receiving areas? Will he undertake seriously a propaganda campaign in those receiving areas to inform them that in the view of Her Majesty's Government a woman officer, if she has the requisite qualifications, is just as good as a man, if not better?

Mr. Carr

I have no authority to undertake propaganda campaigns in independent countries, but I assure the hon. Lady that work among women's organisations, and so on, is something which we are taking increasingly seriously, not only as part of aid, but as part of the British information effort in selecting visitors to this country, and so on.