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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Posted by Parveen Hassan
| 13:26
The Lib Dems are considering all-women shortlists, see article outlined by Sophy Ridge in the Telegraph.

Former Conservative minister Edwina Currie reiterated the draw backs. However, David Cameron's A list - as they called it was a priority list, created in 2005 and since long gone managed to increase the number female candidates in winnable seats. 

Organisations such as Women2Win, and the Conservative Women’s Organisation assisted the process, identifying calibre of candidates, supporting some of them in fund raising campaigns in the case of Women2Win, whilst mentoring and training women to stand for election. 22 % of newly-elected Conservative MPs were women at the 2010 election. Is this stretching far enough? So before the Lib Dems play the trump card to a radical approach to change, the party is looking to make movement in 2020, yawning as I read their head lines, covered in the Independent; Only 12% of Lib Dem MPs are women, and there are none at all from ethnic minorities. 

Lib Dems have been quoted in the article, already boosting their efforts with a number of "excellent" female and ethnic minority candidates have already been selected in winnable seats for 2015. They will force themselves to take action, enforcing all-women shortlists for the 2020 election if they do not get enough in. As 2015 soon appears, 13 prospective Conservative female candidates have been selected to date. 

Perhaps it is time to look at a revitalised strategy or some general milestones. I'm certainly not advocating all-women short lists, yet desiring some attention to the subject as other parties gather their thoughts however patronising they seem. The reality is women reflect society, gender disparity exists, and in order to be influential retaining political power can only be effective if the increase of female participation, and selections can make change happen. Accountability is equally important women must come forward and take the challenge, waiting for all-women short lists will not change timescales and progressive difference. Action starts when women take responsibility to initiate the will to be determined to win. No short list, associations or men can stop this.