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Centre for Women & Democracy E-Newsletter - Work for CFWD/Local Election Results/Vote for A Change

Here is the latest newsletter from CFWD

2009 Election Results
We have now completed some of our work on the 2009 European, mayoral and local elections. 33% of MEPs elected in the UK were women – a rise of 7%, whilst across Europe 35% of the new Parliament will be female as opposed to 31% before the elections. The country with the highest representation of women as MEPs is Finland (62%), with Malta (0%) the Czech Republic (18%) at the bottom. You can download the full European report here. In terms of elected mayors, the number of women in post doubled – that is, it went up from 1 to 2. You can use this link to download an analysis of the mayoral elections. We’re still working on the local elections, but initial findings suggest that the numbers of women elected to county councils has remained exactly the same – 24.3% - as it was in 2005.

Job Opportunity at CFWD
We are currently looking for an Administrative and Research Assistant to help us to run our new Yorkshire Executive Women’s Network project, which we’re developing in partnership with Yorkshire Forward. The post is part-time (21 hours per week) for a period of 10 months from this August. It would suit a graduate or returner looking for flexible working hours, and is based at our office in Leeds. You can use this link to download the job description and person specification – please feel free to circulate it around your networks.

Vote for A Change Campaign
You may have seen publicity about the Vote for A Change Campaign, which is calling for a referendum on the electoral system. A number of civil society organisations – including CFWD – have signed up to this campaign, and they are holding a rally in Central Hall in London on 9 July. There will be music, poetry and the chance to put leading politicians on the spot – for more information or to book a place email naomi@voteforachange.co.uk, or go to the Vote for A Change website.

Recent General Elections
General Elections in May across the world have not been encouraging in terms of women elected. The only increase in the representation of women has been in Kuwait, where the percentage rose from 3% to 7.7%. In the Lebanon, however, it fell from 4.7% to 3.1%, in Panama from 16.7% to 8.5% and in the Maldives from 12% to 6.6%. Some of these changes are very small in both percentage and numerical terms, but they represent a net loss of 7 women legislators. Hopefully June’s crop of elections will reverse this.

And finally ...
You might think that all the scandal surrounding Silvio Berlusconi would have damaged his party, but in fact, in local elections held together with the European elections in Italy, his party took control of 9 more provinces. The storm around Berlusconi’s activities would have been enough to bring down politicians in many other countries – and particularly in Britain – but many people in Italy seem to view these things through a different prism. Here are three reflections on the situation – Sarah Vine in the Times says that Italy shows a strange kind of feminism, Ezio Mauro, the editor of La Repubblica but writing in the Observer, thinks that Berlusconi saw himself as Caesar, but that now his decline is epic, and Rowan Pelling in the Telegrapgh finds that Berlusconi's vanity makes him truly unattractive.

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