HC Deb 20 November 2001 vol 375 c215W
36. Julie Morgan

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to encourage women to put themselves forward for election to each level of Government. [13589]

Mr. Raynsford

We have introduced the Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Bill to enable political parties to use positive measures to reduce inequality in the numbers of men and women elected.

We are also reforming Government to make it a more attractive option to all people of all backgrounds, including women, through improving the hours and working environments at all levels of government.

However, political parties have a vital role to play in encouraging women to come forward, and I hope that the work that the Government are doing in this area acts as a spur to parties wishing to achieve a greater gender balance in their representatives.