WEN Wales statement on report of the Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform, A Parliament that Works For Wales

Wednesday December 13th, 2017

WEN Wales is delighted to see the recommendations contained in the report by the Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform to further gender equality and congratulates the Panel for the importance it has placed on diversity of representation of the Assembly.

The three recommendations relating to gender equality are:

1. Gender quotas integrated into the electoral system put in place for 2021 so that all political parties put forward 50% women and 50% male candidates to support and encourage a gender-balanced parliament for Wales.

2. Job sharing: electoral law should be changed to enable candidates to stand for election based on a transparent job sharing arrangements

3. Compulsory publication regarding candidate diversity: The Assembly should request that the Secretary of State commences Section 106 of the Equality Act 2010 in relation to Assembly elections, or transfers the powers to do so to Welsh Ministers, so that information on the diversity of all candidates from all parties is openly available.

Catherine Fookes, Director of WEN Wales said

‘We are delighted that the report ‘A Parliament that works for Wales’ has gender diversity as one of its guiding principles. Whilst Wales has done well in the past in terms of gender balance, recently the numbers of women AMs has fallen and work must be done to address this. WEN Wales calls on all political parties to be bold in their approach and accept the recommendations in this report for gender quotas, job sharing and publication of data regarding candidate diversity. It has the potential to make a dramatic difference and would ensure that the 52% of the Welsh population that are women feel properly represented.’