Women (Public Appointments)

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Service – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th May 1987.

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Photo of Mr Nicholas Baker Mr Nicholas Baker , North Dorset 12:00 am, 11th May 1987

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what steps he is taking to ensure that a large proportion of women are appointed to public bodies.

Photo of Mr Richard Luce Mr Richard Luce , Shoreham

The public appointments unit is currently processing the list of more than 600 women compiled by the campaign for women into public life. The unit will put these names forward to Departments whenever suitable opportunities arise, together with names of other women received following recent publicity for the work of the unit.

Photo of Mr Nicholas Baker Mr Nicholas Baker , North Dorset

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that the number of women in the Civil Service is increasing? Does he share my hope that the number of women in the Civil Service and in public life will continue to increase after the next general election?

Photo of Mr Richard Luce Mr Richard Luce , Shoreham

I am glad that the public appointments unit, which puts names forward for non-departmental public bodies, has received an increasing number of women's names, thanks to the co-operation of a number of sources, including hon. Members. Clearly, the Government will continue to support all the efforts being made to increase the number of women able to serve in public life

Photo of Mr Tony Banks Mr Tony Banks , Newham North West

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that only 14 per cent. of the Prime Minister's appointments to public bodies have been of women? Es he further aware—although this is not his direct responsibility—that Britain has only two women ambassadors throughout the world? Does that not show that the Prime Minister and the Conservative Government have betrayed women, just as they have betrayed all other categories of our society?

Photo of Mr Richard Luce Mr Richard Luce , Shoreham

The more questions the hon. Gentleman asks, the more excitable he becomes. The proportion of women in non-departmental public bodies is now 19 per cent. and not 14 per cent., and thanks to the efforts of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister last autumn to raise interest, the public appointments unit now has far more women's names.