An equality group is outraged that the new coalition Cabinet looks set to contain just one woman.
Prime minister David Cameron is currently outlining ‘who’s who’ in his new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government. Key appointments include chancellor George Osborne, and a Treasury/business job for Vince Cable, Lib Dem treasury spokesman, although it is not yet clear what the title of the post will be. Theresa May has been confirmed as the new home secretary, but so far she is the only woman with a seat at the top table.
Ceri Goddard, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said: “A 90% male Cabinet is just not something that Fawcett and millions of other women will tolerate – it’s utterly unacceptable. The new coalition must right this wrong immediately.
“It’s as though feminism never happened,” she added. “It seems the default response of politics in political crisis is to revert to type – a men-only zone. This is not only bad for women, it’s bad for everyone as we all lose out and our democracy is just plain flawed without women’s vital contribution.”
Goddard continued: “It would seem that while many of our politicians have managed to overcome party tribalism and age-old loyalties to form a coalition, this new approach to politics has not seen them cast off the sexist attitudes that mean women, as a rule, are excluded from the top tier of British government.”
The former Labour government contained three female secretaries. They were Harriet Harman, leader of the House of Commons and equality spokeswoman; Tessa Jowell, Cabinet Office minister; and Yvette Cooper, work and pensions secretary.