Britain is lagging behind Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar and Kyrgyzstan in its efforts to increase the number of women in politics, a damning report reveals today.
Women are dramatically under-represented at all levels of politics from the Cabinet to the town hall, and as a result Britain has tumbled to 65th in a global league table of female representation.
This country ranked 33rd 15 years ago, but had dropped to 62nd by 2010.
According to the annual study by The Counting Women In coalition, David Cameron’s arrival in office made no difference to the downwards trajectory and Britain now languishes 65th in the table.
Almost all major industrialised European nations have a better record on female involvement in politics, with Germany placed 21st, Italy 31st and France 48th.
The study said that just 22 per cent of Cabinet ministers were female, 23 per cent of MPs and 23 per cent of peers. Women also have little presence in local government.
The report’s author, Nan Sloane, the director of the Centre for Women and Democracy, said: “Along with other excluded groups, women have already waited for generations for equal access to power, and we’re still being asked to wait decades to achieve it. That’s not good enough – we need real change now.”