change in the law is needed to ensure women continue to be well represented in
central government, claimed the Equal Opportunities Commission.
for the EOC shows that political parties will not select significantly more
women candidates without a change in the law to allow positive discrimination,
such as all-women shortlists, now banned after a legal challenge.
Mellor, chair of the EOC, said, “Labour’s use of all-women shortlists in 1997
swelled the ranks of women MPs but without positive action the past four years
will come to be seen as a blip.”
study claims that in Scotland, where more than 30 per cent of MPs are women,
sex equality issues have become part of the mainstream debate.
spokesman for the Labour Party said it would ask the Home Office to look at changing the legal framework so all
political parties can introduce measures to guarantee selection of more women
and more ethnic minorities.