Local Government: Women in Leadership Roles - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 8th March 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Gale Baroness Gale Shadow Spokesperson (Equalities and Women's Issues) 3:15 pm, 8th March 2017

My Lords, having more women in local government is essential. It is often a precursor to office in other fields, such as becoming a Member of Parliament. Does the Minister agree that women want to serve but there must be a responsibility, as he said, on all political parties to ensure that women are treated equally? Does he therefore agree that the Government should adopt the recommendation from the Women and Equalities Committee in another place that, to achieve parity among candidates, we need legislation that involves financial penalties for underperformance, and that this measure would increase the number of women councillors and women in all walks of elected positions? This happens in other countries. Will he comment on that and do his best to make sure it happens?