Wednesday, 03.05.17 - London

Gender Representation in Local and Regional Politics – Lessons from Germany and the UK

Men have been dominating politics ever since and women are underrepresented in the political decision-making, which presents a democratic deficit. FES London and the Institute for Policy Research (IPPR) have launched a report that discusses gender balance in regional and local governments in the UK and Germany.

In the case of Germany, internal quotas in the political parties have helped to get more women involved in politics, although the discussion at the launch event highlighted that quotas alone cannot transform culture. Another important aspect that can bring change is transparency. The speakers agreed that data monitoring can be a helpful tool to improve gender representation. However, it was not only discussed how to improve the current imbalance but also the reasons that are causing it, such as still prevalent sexism or the unattractive circumstances to get active in local politics if this needs to be combined with family time or care responsibilities such as late-night meetings.

Among the speakers at the launch were Elke Ferner, Parliamentary Secretary of State in the German Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and Right Honourable Margaret Hodge MP, who also shared their personal experiences in fighting gender inequality in politics.

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