Saturday, June 25, 2016

Women in politics 3/6

Politicians have power and play an important role in society, so why don’t more women play an active part in politics? We need more women who are willing to make a difference by getting involved at both the local and national level. 

It is vital to involve members of nomination committees in this debate to make them see the importance of getting women on to their party lists at election time. My experience is that it takes time to persuade women to say yes: you have ask them early in the process and explain why their experience and abilities make them interesting for the party. It is a good idea to promise them a mentor if they agree to be a candidate. What does not work well is simply calling them and assuming that they will agree after a ten-minute chat on the phone. Men might do that – and they seldom think that they are not good enough – but most women think that to become a candidate for elected office, they need to be experts on all political subjects. This difference is both striking and sad. 

Norwegian research tells us that women do not give more of their votes to other women, but that may be because the men on the list are better known, are more often in the newspapers and attract more attention. Or could the answer be that we are used to grey-haired men with ties in politics and feel safer giving them our votes? 

There is no doubt that we have a job to do to explain why it is important that more women stand for and get elected to public office.

By Janne Fardal Kristoffersen
http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/files/documents/vision_report_en.pdf

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