Emma holds Cameron to account over broken promise on women in Cabinet

July 16, 2014

140409 ELB PMQs smallEarlier today Emma questioned the Prime Minister over his recent Cabinet reshuffle, asking why after five years he had still not hit his target of having a Cabinet where one in three members are women.

The Prime Minister’s announcements brought the number of women in the Cabinet up to five, less than a quarter of the total.

Emma asked David Cameron:

“Given the Prime Minister’s commitment to equality, will he explain why 75 per cent of his Cabinet are still men?”

The Prime Minister argued that there were as many women attending Cabinet today as under the previous Labour Government.

But the current Labour Shadow Cabinet includes nine women – more than 40 per cent of the total.  And Labour’s record of standing up for women is clear – the previous government increased maternity leave and doubled maternity pay, as well as introducing Working Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits to help low-paid families.  Introducing the National Minimum Wage also had a dramatic impact for women – two thirds of workers who benefitted were women.

Meanwhile, under the Coalition unemployment among women has risen dramatically, while low paid working mothers are losing out on £3,000 of support during pregnancy and the first year of motherhood.

Altogether, changes to tax, benefit and pensions mean that women are paying three times as much to bring the deficit down as men.

Speaking after Prime Minister’s Questions, Emma said:

“The Prime Minister has failed to meet a very modest target, even after more than four years of Government.  The Tories are spinning this week’s announcements as a victory for women, but the fact is there are no more women in the Cabinet than there were in 2011.

“This is not a trivial issue. We have seen already how a male-dominated Government can overlook the impact its policy has on women – look at how progress on closing the gender pay gap has stalled, while cuts to public services and benefits are hitting women three times as hard as men.”

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