• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How has the National Assembly opened up new opportunities for women in Wales?

Extracts from this document...


How has the National Assembly opened up new opportunities for women in Wales? Within this assignment I shall firstly look at women's role within society and then I will look at representation of women in the National Assembly for Wales. I will look at how the different parties ensure more women are elected and what role they play in the assembly in both the cabinet and those who are committee chairs. I will need to use a variety of primary and secondary sources such as policy documents, interviews, books and articles, organizational and statistical information. This will give a wider perspective. Also by using a varied literature and information sources the subject can be analysed from a broader viewpoint. A variety of methods will be used to acquire this information. The interviews will provide first hand information, the internet is an up to date source, and newspapers will provide details of current issues and opinion. Books provide in depth specific information that is extremely relevant to the investigation. The National Assembly for Wales was established by an Act of Parliament following the approval of the Government's proposals in the September 1997 referendum. The first elections were held on May 6th 1999 and the Assembly took on its full responsibilities on July 1st 1999. This marked the biggest change in the governing of Wales since the creation of the Welsh office in 1964. ...read more.


Labour has most AMs (twenty-eight in total) and fifty-seven percent are female (fifteen); the Liberal Democrats (total six) have fifty percent female AMs (three); Plaid Cymru (total seventeen) have thirty-five percent female AMs (six) and there are no conservative female Assembly members (see fig 1). These statistics would appear to support the policies adopted by the parties. The graphs in figures 2 and 3 dramatically demonstrate the party political disparities in their female representation. It can be said that Labour has made great strides in both the House of Commons and the Assembly. However, the positive discrimination measures e.g. women only shortlists have been very controversial. Yet when no positive interventions occur e.g. the Conservative Party the lack of female members is extremely apparent. What is also significant is that women have reached quite senior positions. The cabinet has nine members, five of which are female which represents fifty-six percent - this is extremely significant as it equalizes the power imbalance. The portfolios of ministers are as follows: Jane Hutt - Health and Social Services Edwina Hart - Finance and Local Government Jane Davidson - Education and Lifelong Learning Jenny Randerson - Culture, Sport and the Welsh Language Sue Essex - Environment There are seven subject committees, three of which are chaired by women: Health and Social Services - Kirsty Williams Local Government and Housing - Gwenda Thomas Economic Development - Val Feld* (*Sadly, since writing this Val Feld has died.) ...read more.


Also, as Kirsty Williams pointed out, the Assembly has adopted a far more conciliatory style than Westminster, and she attributed this in part to the female influence. The female AMs have also highlighted that women can attain positions of power through merit, which can only be a positive influence on other sectors. Many female AMs also have experience of the 'caring' professions e.g. health and social care which has proved to be invaluable in addressing such issues as carer's rights, parental responsibilities, children's issues. Wales has led the way in appointing a Children's commissioner - a campaign that Jane Hutt had a keen interest in whilst at Chwarae Teg. Helen Mary Jones and Val Feld both worked for the equal opportunity commission prior to entering the Assembly and so had a wealth of knowledge and experience. In conclusion, I think that it can be said that the national Assembly has opened up new opportunities for women in Wales. However, it would appear to be a starting point. It is chipping away at the 'glass ceiling' rather than smashing it. There is no female party leader or first minister and 'positive' intervention has been needed to place women in positions of power. In the final analysis we will have to judge the long term effects for women when such tactics are no longer employed and women are judged on their merits alone as gender neutral prospective politicians. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. Source F is an advertising poster looking for female help. Before the war it ...

    It is argued that they didn't really have a choice as they were possibly very desperate for work. Nonetheless, this must still be considered a turning point in the attempt of women's suffrage. Source G is a statistics based source from a modern day school textbook.

  2. The Changing Role and Status of Women in Britain Since 1900

    How important was World War One in bringing about these changes? World War One was important in changing anti-feminist views existed deep in the heart of Edwardian society. The war allowed people of Great Britain to witness the true strength and competence of women showing them that women could be equal to men.

  1. Minority Rights, Identity Politics and Gender in Bangladesh: Current Problems and Issues

    In 1992 it refused to celebrate the UN Year for Indigenous people on the grounds that Bangladesh the constitution gives no space or recognition to the ethnic and cultural distinctiveness or special rights of the ethno-nationalist communities. The only provision that the policymakers often refer to in this context is

  2. The Scottish Parliament despite its powers has been a political disappointment, whereas the Welsh ...

    McConnel became the third first minister in just over two years to the parliament and so far appears settled in the post. A changeover of this kind is never good for a parliament as it leads to unrest and distrust even if this cannot be blamed on the parliament itself.

  1. Is New Labour a Conservative Party?

    Europe was a source of division, just as under Mrs. Thatcher, but it became even more troublesome under John Major. The European project of a more integrated political unity gathered pace and steps such as the extension of majority voting, social chapter, single currency and general shift towards greater integration concerned many in the Conservative Party.

  2. Political parties and representation

    Empirical observations suggest that there has been a substantial degree of 'de-alignment' in recent decades in many democracies, that more voters fit the 'floating' third prototype. The old RC=CDU alignment in Germany is now fairly weak: in GB less than half the voters voted with 'their class' in 1980s (Conservatives

  1. Conflict Analysis: Angola

    and distance to form between the opposing parties over the months before conflict seriously escalated. March passed and UNITA continuously failed to meet deadlines, appealing for more time. It became clear UNITA was employing delaying tactics and that an explosion of violent behaviour was on the horizon.

  2. A new democracy will face many difficulties in deciding its new Governmental structure.

    What should be noted is that this is more a characteristic of Partisan politics and when the American system was being formed, George Washington never considered that political parties would have developed5.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work