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Jardine reveals “embarrassing” gender balance of the Privy Council

March 10, 2019 9:00 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine has used International Women's Day to call on the Government to end the gender imbalance in institutions like the Privy Council.

The Edinburgh West MP - who already has a Bill before the commons calling for the House of Lords' name to be changed - this weekend highlighted that there are five times as many male privy councillors as female ones.

The council, which is an advisory body to the Queen, grants Orders of Council and regulates specific public bodies. It currently lists a total of 680 members, only 109 of which are women.

The House of Lords has a similarly poor gender balance, with twice as many men as women.

The MP - who is also currently campaigning against the so called 'Pink Tax' - said: "These figures are an embarrassment and throw back to the outdated and unacceptable narrative that political decision making is man's job".

Christine Jardine said:

"The Privy Council is just one example of how we are failing to move on quickly enough.

"It's embarrassing that so many of this country's most prestigious institutions continue to give off the impression they are an old boy's club.

"There is no justification for such a significant gender balance to exist anywhere in 21st century Britain. It's high time our institutions were brought up to date.

"More than 100 years on since the first women in this country won the vote we shouldn't have to be making the case for every governing body to have equal representation.

"It is time to end the narrative that political decision-making is a man's job. We can take a step towards that later this month with my Bill to rename the House of Lords."