To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions
(1) what measure he intends to take to ensure that a gender perspective is taken into account in introducing e-democracy;
(2) what measures he is taking to ensure that women are consulted in the (a) formulation and (b) content of the Government's e-democrary policy.
I have been asked to reply.
Following the creation of the Cabinet Committee on e-democracy, policy proposals on how to strengthen the democratic process through the use of the internet and other electronic means are being developed. The policy proposals will be subject to a wide public consultation later this year, plans for which are currently being prepared.
Access and diversity issues will be looked at as part of the consultation's examination of inclusion in the democratic process and how e-democracy can help to address these issues. The development of e-democracy will be explored with individuals and groups, including women's groups. Women will be encouraged to respond to the consultation as a whole, and their contributions will be taken into account in the final policy.