» Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Women’s Minister

Asked if, given the gender gap in pay, it was an embarrassment to the Government that the Minister for Women would be unpaid, the PMOS said that he had dealt with this matter earlier in the week. As he pointed out then, there had always been unpaid Government ministers because of the cap on the size of Government. What was important was that previously, Jackie Smith had been sharing the responsibilities of Women’s Minister with other responsibilities she had. Meg Munn would be able to devote her time solely to being Women’s Minister. Furthermore Tessa Jowell would be representing the equality and equal opportunities agenda at the Cabinet table. The agenda was being addressed in a serious way.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Search for related news


  1. The very existence of a Minister for Women is sexist by nature. It assumes that all discrimination is against women.
    Anyone who has dealings with the family courts, or is wrongly accused of a sex crime will tell you the hell that many men have to go through. For these men, the existence of a Minister of Women is an insult to justice.
    If there is going to be any sort of minister, it should be called Minister for Gender, and it should allow a man to fill the slot occasionally.

    Comment by James Williams — 8 Jun 2005 on 12:09 am | Link
  2. I can appreciate james’ comments but, until women occupy the same spaces in the world in terms of public office, decision making , have the same level of income, until there is no ‘selling’ of women for sex, no domestic violence and abuse of women, no mass rapoing of women by men in war zones, no dicktats on our reproductive rights, until women own as much of the world and earn as much as men etc etc. there is a need to have a place where political pressure is applied to protect the gains we have made and increase them in the future.

    I would feel very pleased if men like James could support and campaign for the rights of women, instead of complaining that the things we have fought for should also be ‘given’ to him! I hope that makes sense.

    I am equally outraged by Meg’s lack of significance – measured, in our society in terms of status, rank, money etc (sadly) but not at all surprised – it simple reainforces the need to be vigilant and continue to fight for justice and our rights.

    Comment by Sue Gorbing — 30 Jun 2005 on 3:05 pm | Link
  3. If she tackles sexism in religion then I’m all for her.

    Comment by Mr Pooter — 1 Jul 2005 on 7:32 am | Link
  4. And can we please also have Ministers for the elimination of:

    Ageism, Heightism, Weightism, Hair Colourism etc etc. Of course all of these posts may well be unpaid, but you can be certain that a generous dollop of ‘expenses’ or ‘allowances’ will be available from public funds.

    Anyway, it will give our legislators something to do. They must be pretty bored now that the most recent pile of EC paperwork has been put on hold.

    And, even now, that noise you can hear in the background is our glorious legal profession – with its ever-ready calculators – fixing the scales of charges for such landmark litigation.

    Comment by Chuck Unsworth — 1 Jul 2005 on 9:08 am | Link
  5. I work in the field of domestic violence offering services to men and women who suffer extreme violations to the their physical and emotional being…Equality is my passion coming from a humanist perspective;;
    When the balance of power swings equally between gender then the need for a gender specific minister will disappear… and these needs can be met by minister for equality and diversity. Until then I support the need for a women’s minister who will keep the present, huge range of inequalities experienced by women on an agenda for change. This is written in memory of the two women killed every day in England by someone they, at some point, had loved or trusted

    Comment by Mags Smith — 28 Mar 2007 on 2:54 pm | Link

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