The new Assembly Cross Party Group on Women, sponsored by Jane Hutt, Sian Gwenllian, Suzy Davies, and supported by AMs and women’s groups in Wales, was addressed by Professor Laura McAllister at their first meeting.
As Chair of the Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform, Professor McAllister spoke about recommendations in the Panel’s Report ‘A Parliament that Works for Wales’, improving women’s representation in the Assembly, including opportunities to consider gender quotas and job sharing arrangements. She drew on the examples of balanced gender representation achieved across the world and welcomed the consultation carried out by the Assembly Commission on these key issues.
The Cross Party Group is supported by the Women’s Equality Network (WEN) Wales which fully endorses these recommendations, and a wide range of organisations attended the packed meeting in Ty Hywel.
There was strong endorsement for job sharing opportunities to be made available in the Assembly, and a call for this to be considered by the Assembly Commission in its next phase of work in the Autumn. Gender quotas and the publication of candidate diversity were also considered to be a priority at the meeting. AMs Jane Hutt, Sian Gwenllian and Suzy Davies said,
“We have set up the Cross Party Group on Women to address the many issues arising for women in Wales today and we welcomed the strong response from women’s organisations attending the first meeting to hear Professor Laura McAllister speak about new opportunities for women to be fully and fairly represented in the Assembly. The Cross Party Group will be supported by the Women’s Equality Network (WEN) Wales and will address many of the issues in their Manifesto for Women’s Rights supported by women’s organisations across Wales.’
For further information contact: Catherine Fookes, WEN Wales