Data released by leading gender equality campaigning charity, the Fawcett Society, shows that just 34% of the 4,980 councillors elected in May were women. This means that, at this rate of change, we won’t see gender parity in local councils until 2077 – over 50 years away. Across England women make up just 35% of the total number of councillors – less than a 1% increase since the 2019 elections.
Whilst the report highlights that progress in improving women’s representation in local government is ‘glacial’, there has been an increase in the number of councils that have maternity or paternity policies in place, which Fawcett has been campaigning for. However, the Fawcett Society described it as ‘shocking’ that data obtained by them through Freedom of Information requests shows that around three quarters of local councils still don’t have maternity or paternity policies in place for their councillors.
- Only 24% of councils have a maternity or paternity policy in place for their ‘ordinary’ councillors. In 2019 just 7% had these policies in place.
- Only 25% of councils have a maternity or paternity policy in place for their senior cabinet-level councillors. In 2019 just 8% had these policies in place.