All Black women shortlists

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2017 National Black Members' Conference
22 September 2016

Conference notes that recent research has confirmed that all women shortlists (AWS) are an effective means of reducing barriers for women to stand as candidates in elections, and that women elected in this way are diligent and active MPs, who contribute to positive democratic outcomes and help to foster diversity in decision making.

Conference further notes that in 1993, the Labour Party introduced a policy of all women shortlists to address the under representation of women in elected positions.

The impact of this is clear. In Westminster, 44% of Labour Party MPs are women, whilst only 20% of Tory MPs are women. Likewise the SNP, which also has all women shortlists, has 36% women MPs.

Clearly all women shortlists have made it easier for women to be selected, including for non AWS seats. However, they have failed to recruit Black women into politics in significant numbers, and do not reflect all ethnicities.

Whilst other positive action measures may contribute to increased diversity in elected positions, it is apparent that restricted shortlists have the greatest impact.

1)Conference therefore calls on the national Black members’ committee to work with the national women’s committee and Labour Link to explore the feasibility of lobbying for all Black women shortlists to redress the balance.

Submitted by: National Women’s Committee

NBMC Policy: Support