Following David Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle, the UK government has moved from having three women in the cabinet to five: and these two new members are working mothers, a presence not there before.
This still fails to improve the overall gender equity: according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union the UK currently ranks 65th globally for women parliamentary membership. Women comprise 22.6 per cen of the total UK parliament, compared to 51 per cent of the population.
A focus just on numbers, however, doesn’t give us a complete picture. Even if countries have high numbers of women political representatives it doesn’t necessarily mean that the women are full, active members; they could just be there for window dressing, and they may not promote women’s rights once they get into politics.
Recent research conducted in Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, India, Palestine, Sierra Leone and Sudan suggests that exploring women’s political pathways from the ground up may provide a more comprehensive understanding.