Project: Commission on Women in Local Government

In 2016/17, LGiU worked in partnership with the Fawcett Society on a year-long Commission on Women in Local Government. The Commission was jointly chaired by Labour’s Dame Margaret Hodge MP and Conservative councillor Cllr Gillian Keegan, Director of Women2Win (now Gillian Keegan MP).

Funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, the Commission adopted a strategic approach and focused, among other things, on the newly created governance structures at local level and how they include or exclude women. For more information, contact Lauren Lucas on lauren.lucas@lgiu.org.uk.

Key issues:

  • women’s representation at a local level, and in particular focus on women in positions of power and leadership and where women make a positive difference
  • the barriers to women’s participation and representation and the practical solutions which would enable more women to participate
  • the diversity of women’s representation including BAME women, disabled women, those with caring responsibilities and different age groups
  • the impact of new governance structures, such as directly-elected mayors and Combined Authorities, on women’s representation in local government

The Commission gathered evidence from people working within local government on their experiences, ideas and challenges with regards to gender equality.

  • A series of meetings took place around the country at which guests were invited to contribute their opinions and comment on the findings so far.
  • LGiU conducted a survey of councillors to discover their experiences of engaging with their local party, council work and progression in office. Contact Jennifer Glover for information.
  • Fawcett Society ran an open call for evidence, which allowed anyone with views on the topic of women in local government to contribute to the research project.

Findings and reports

Women are under-represented in leadership roles in Northern Powerhouse – June 2016

Does Local Government Work for Women? Interim Report of the Local Government Commission – April 2017

Does local government work for women? Final report of the local government commission – July 2017