§ Jackie Ballard
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of the (i) paid and (ii) unpaid appointments which he has made to non-departmental public bodies since 1 May 1997 were women. 
§ Mr. Straw
I have made 111 paid appointments to Home Office public bodies since 1 May 1997. Of these, 20 were women (18 per cent.). I have also made 42 unpaid appointments, of which 9 were women (21 per cent.).
The Government are committed to increasing the representation of women in public life. In support of this, my Department is currently drawing up an action plan for increasing the number of women and ethnic minorities holding public appointments.