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Eccles election result

Gender equality improves in Salford local election

  • Only 34% of councillors nationwide are female
  • Salford elects 42% female councillors this year
  • Newly elected councillors say more needs to be done

Voters have increased the number of female Councillors across the wards of Salford in the recent local election. 

This comes as good news for gender equality as government data for England shows that only 34% of local authority councillors are female with this figure remaining stable for the past 20 years.

The proportion of women councillors has only grown by 5 percentage points in that time and a 2017 report by IPPR shows at this rate it will take 66 years to reach 50/50 representation.

Election Count
Election Count for Salford

Prior to the recent vote only 30% of councillors across Salford were female with the newly elected councillors are made up of 42% women. 

As the council is made up of many safe Labour seats it was the party most able to change this. 

This year they say they have done so by setting up female only seats across the city which could only field female candidates.

Ann-Maire Humphreys newly elected Labour councillor for Ordsall said she feels that there is more that can be done.

She said: "Women are more likely to be care givers and so barriers such as the long anti-social hours make it difficult".

A Local Government Association report states currently more than 95% of local authorities fail to provide maternity cover to elected councillors. 

Sharmina August, the newly elected labour councillor for Eccles reports there is also an issue with diversity across the councillors of Salford.

Sharmina August
Sharmina August - Newly Elected councillor for Eccles

She said: "I am going to be the first Muslim heritage and first Bangladeshi heritage councillor in Salford City Council.

She added: "It can be intimidating, going to the town hall for a meeting if you don’t know what councillors even do?

"How can you find out if you don’t hang out in that group of older white males. "

She went on to say it was important for councillors and parties to engage more, specifically putting on events for minority groups and women to let them know they can to can also stand for election.

Male candidates
Male candidates for Salford Election

Annie Wood, the Women’s Equality Party candidate for Eccles said recent changes to election policy which stops local councillors from having to publish their home addresses will help. This comes as many prominent female politicians receive abuse including rape and murder threats.

The Women’s Equality Party has said:

This argument posits that there should be no conditionality on the equal presence of men and women on councils as it is simply a question of justice

Across the political divide it appears more work is required to get a better balance with the other mainstream party failing to field more than 26% female. 

Party

Female / Male %

The Labour Party

42% / 58%

The Conservative Party

26% / 73%

The Green Party

17% / 83%

Independent councillors

37% / 63%

UK Independence Party (UKIP)

16% / 84%

The Liberal Democrats

10% / 90%

Womens Equality Party

100% / 0%

Veterans and Peoples Party

0% / 100%

Socialist Alternative

50% / 50%

Table showing the female - male mix of candidates for the 2019 Salford local election. 

The other mainstream parties have been approached for comment.

Check out the interactive map below to see which party won each seat or click here.

 

 

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