I look forward to the day we no longer feel we have to monitor the number of females taking on political positions at all levels of government and in this last General Election we took a step closer to gender equality. We achieved the highest number of female candidates ever contesting parliamentary seats.
But, women still remain under-represented in politics at all levels, and sadly in spite of the Labour Party's 'women only' short lists it is the Conservative party who have their second female leader. Is this simply a co-incidence or is it (as they will tell you) that when women compete on equal terms with men, better, tougher politicians rise to the top? How has Labour missed the opportunity to have the party led by a woman? How is it that a women like Harriot Harman ends up being only a stand in leader when the seat falls empty until a (male) leader is elected? How is it that strong women in politics are talked about as shrill or pushy? Why is the media still getting away with making comments about their personal grooming or fashion sense. We have excellent, intelligent, articulate and strong women in our party. I look forward to the day we are ready to elect one of them to lead.