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Thursday, 21 November 2013

As Parliament week is championed to wake the masses, partnered with the Daily Telegraph Wonder Women team hosted a unique debate with female leaders in the field of politics and the media. Eighty women were invited guests on how women can shape politics and if female voices do ever count as part of the electorate?

A sigh of relief, we were all talking on the same lines and not going off topic.There were no icebreakers, the usual messages and tones surfaced, "women aren't strong, they don't support other women". Feminists spoke the tunes of women being sidelined in the House of Commons as did the speakers on the drama and the lines played out on the green benches.
Telegraph Wonder Women debate Women in Politics 
Then came the obvious, how should we turn this around? Is this a failure on David Cameron's image problem, policies or lack of visible female representation in politics. The correct question posed to the panel by the host Emma Garnett Editor of Wonder Women Section from the Telegraph.

Tantalising as it sounds, how can we find new women to enter politics and encourage them to do so? Offering services was Conservative MP Dr Sarah Wollaston to women, supporting them to join up for the cause and register their interest. There was a queue building up.

Far was the excitement, women were tweeting, whispering, and gesturing to voice their opinions. Over beverages, wine and light bites, women networked in a frenzy, the interaction was a success, a cocktail mix of media high flyers and political leaders went down a treat, did we learn or reinforce the message speak to women with no man at the ringside? I lie there was one lonely voice. He took it on his stride to engage with us.

Parveen Hassan & Dr Sarah Wollaston MP 
The session rapidly paced, covered all women shortlists, quotas, and how Iceland knows best as one member in the audience pointed out they got it wrong too as they have decreased in female representation in the political arena. New policies or manifesto pledges were creeping into frank discussions- the topic again all-women shortlists- perhaps in 2020. Yvette Cooper MP talked on her political ambition to be the Home Secretary, so there was no real leadership ambition and stayed on message.

Read more on the detail at the @TelewonderWomen by Louisa Peacock Deputy Women's Editor;

I hope they start a series on women engagement: media, economy and society. Parliament week will come and go yearly, these women have more to say I dare say. The engagement continues on social media #womeninpolitics with the raft of women networks and connections.

Women networking at The Telegraph Women Section 


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