A Better, But Not as Yet, Good Parliament: The UK House of Commons 2016-2018

A Better, But Not as Yet, Good Parliament: The UK House of Commons 2016-2018

Sarah Childs, Professor of Politics and Gender, Birkbeck College University of London and Distinguished Visiting Researcher, University of Auckland, discusses progress on implementing the recommendations of her report The Good Parliament two years on from its publication.

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Changing times? The shifting gender balance of Scottish Parliament committee witnesses

Changing times? The shifting gender balance of Scottish Parliament committee witnesses

In the latest blog from our Legislatures in Uncertain Times conference, Anouk Berthier (Scottish Parliament) and Hugh Bochel (University of Lincoln) discuss their research into the diversity of witnesses to committees in the Scottish Parliament.

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The Good Parliament: it is about more than breastfeeding and trans-toilets

The Good Parliament: it is about more than breastfeeding and trans-toilets

By Sarah Childs

Lots of people have to plenty to say about what is wrong with the UK parliament. Many do so at some distance from the Palace of Westminster. The Good Parliament report, launched on 20 July, is the culmination of a year working intimately with members and with House officials: its 43 recommendations are guided by this experience and expertise and offer a ‘menu of reforms’ that when implemented would meet the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s gender sensitive parliament status. Indeed, the report goes beyond this approach in developing and setting out proposals to deliver a diversity sensitive parliament.

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A ‘Gender Friendly’ Parliament after GE 2015? The Case for a Women and Equality Committee

A ‘Gender Friendly’ Parliament after GE 2015? The Case for a Women and Equality Committee

Please note that this blog piece was originally published on PolicyBristol Hub on 27 April, and is available here.

By Sarah Childs

The 2015 general election portends an era of  ‘dangerous’ women having undue influence on British politics come May the 8th, if the print and social media are to be believed. Nicola Sturgeon – variously depicted as Miley Cyrus’ ‘wrecking ball’, Putinesque, the woman ‘holding all the aces’ and the ‘most dangerous woman of all’ will be pulling Ed Miliband’s strings. The women’s hug at the end of the Opposition leader’s debate epitomises an apparently ‘red sisterhood’ that will leave the Labour leader defenceless in the face of their collective seductive powers. To make matters worse, Ed’s ‘girly laugh’ (as Guido Fawkes put it) renders him insufficiently manly for the Premiership. All of this might be discounted as election banter, colourful to be sure, but nonetheless underpinned by legitimate concerns about post-election governing arrangements. Be that as it may. Such depictions also re-present Westminster politics as male, opposing and privileging the ‘male-politician-norm’ with the ‘female-politician-pretender’. Continue reading