EVENT TRANSCRIPT: Women, Peace and Security Index
DATE: 1st November 2018 – 13:00-14:00
VENUE: House of Lords
SPEAKER: Jeni Klugman, Laura Hughes, Emily Winterbotham, Sophie Gaston
EVENT CHAIR: Baroness Goudie
Baroness Goudie: I think we should start because we have to leave the room at 14:00 this afternoon. I am really pleased that everyone is here. I plan to only speak for a few minutes then Jenny will speak for 15-20 minutes. Because of the technical problem if we canget it going fine, if not Jenny will refer you to the pages in this book that we want you all to take away. Laura, Sophie and Emily will all speak for 5 minutes each then we will have Q and A for about 20 minutes.
I would like to introduce you to the panel this afternoon. Dr. Jeni Klugman is a great friend of mine from Georgetown and needs no real introduction except that she is an expert in women, peace and security amongst other issues. She has worked in both, America and Australia and London and many other places. Laura is the political correspondent for the Financial Times and covers a number of issues many of which will come across your desk in the next year or two so that will be great. Emily works at RUSI as you all know is the National Security Resilience Program. Sophie is the deputy Director of the Henry Jackson Society. So Jeni would you like to start?
Jeni – I would like to Thank Baroness Gudi for the kind introduction and to all of you for joining this afternoon. I am so honored to present this report in the halls of Westminster despite the technological problems. We’re here today because women are at the heart of trying to achieve sustainable peace through inclusion, justice and security. This has been recognized in several resolutions of the United Nations Security Council General Assembly as well as in sustainable development agendas recently signed up to by 193 governments around the world. It is also timely because the UK government launched its own national action plan as part of its five year strategy to meet its own women, peace and security commitments as part of its foreign policy agenda. We see this index as a tool which supports this agenda and is designed to support its process. I am happy to share the highlights brought together by the Georgetown institute of Women, peace and security alongside the Peace Research Institute of Oslo. So my Job today is just to flag the main headlines trying to show this can be useful for your work and hopefully you can leave the room as excited as we are about the index and as ambassadors for its teacher development.
So I just want to start by talking about what’s in the report. We kept it as slim and accessible as possible. There’s a short executive summary designed for the busy Baroness, MP or Lord, Ambassador Minister or Policy Maker. We have three chapters. The first motivates the index, the second lays out key results and the third takes a deeper dive into the topic of security which is the main focus and main innovation of the index. So the first question, why the new index? I think many of you would agree that there is a growing number of global indices available, the Human Development Index, the World Economic Forum does so as well. We review all the existing indices and revealed there was a major gap. Gender idiocies are typically limited to such aspects as whether girls complete education, women are in paid work. These aspects of inclusion are undoubtedly important but undermined where girls are not safe when they go to school or women in their own homes. At the same time there are a whole array of conflict indices as well. They measure the likelihood of war but they invariably neglect the gender dimension. So this is an index which brings together those aspects of women’s inclusion and justice together with security and in that sense represents a major innovation in women’s wellbeing and how we think about its connection to the security agenda. It provides a simple number and ranking highlights achievements and deficits. The aim is very much to inform and to inspire actin. If you look at page 8 at the full report where there are pie charts. I’m afraid this is instead of the presentation so I going to guide you through here. You can see here the three broad dimensions that we measure; inclusion, justice and security. This shows the structure of the index inclusion ha multiple aspects, economic, social as well as political so our indicators range from employment and financial inclusion through cell phone use and parliamentary representation. On the justice side we’re interested in formal laws and whether discriminators legislations exists as well as informal justice which includes son bias such as unbalanced sex ratios and unbalanced numbers of women working. Finally security is measured at three levels, at the family, at the community level and at the societal level. I will go into that a little bit more later. We had to choose indicators and we wanted to maximize country coverage which is difficult to do. What we did do is start with sustainable development goals which have already been agreed to by governments. We used indicators which are statistically reliable and updated on a regular basis and we covered 153 countries in the first take of this index. Indicators don’t rely on expert of subjective judgment, they draw on underlying population survey data. So when we cut to the chase and present the highlight sin terms of the top and bottom dozen which is shown on page 3 f the index report, you can see that Iceland leads the world, at the bottom end Afghanistan and Syria are tied for bottom. You will see that UK squeezed into the top dozen tied with Denmark and Germany. We present the 153 countries to get a sense of performance, but I think it’s interesting to look behind the aggregate results because what we see is unbalanced results across dimensions. We see significant variations within region. If you look at figure 4 you can see the regional patterns in terms of performance. Developed countries do well overall, the Middle East and North Africa is the bottom ranked region overall. Within each of those regions there are countries that do better than the global average of about point 66. For example in South Asia – Nepal, in sub Saharan Africa there are several countries which do better than the global average – Namibia, South Africa, Mauritius, Ghana and Tanzania,. A number of countries in Latin America as well. So rather than compare countries to Iceland, it better to compare countries to the region. Another important message of the report which echoes the human development report which has now been published over two decades. Money matters but it’s not the whole story. Some countries do much better than their country ranking in terms of GDP and other countries do much worse. For example Saudi Arabia plummets about 90 places in the women peace and security index relative to its place in terms of national income. Kuwait falls 79 places, Iran drops 57 places. Money is part of the story but is not determinant of the overall outcome.
When we look and see the performance for the UK, clearly very strong, the on to highlight is intimate partner violence which is worse than the developed average and pulls the ranking down. If you go to our website you can see when you click on the country profiles you can see the performance on the UK on each of the 11 dimensions relative the developed country averages. It’s quite simple way of presenting comparisons which you can explore. What we also do because the index itself is just a snap shot, for the most recent data it doesn’t show trends over time. For example when I presented this report in Oslo we had the Afghan ambassador on the panel and I was a little bit worried because, of course, Afghanistan is in last place. She said we have progressed a lot and we’re just glad to be on the map. Because there are 40 countries for which we don’t even have data. SO I guess they can say they’re 150th out of 200. The point to make is that there are countries which are making progress who ae coming from a low base which doesn’t come across on the index so we will be updating the index in 2019. When we look at trends over time we see for example there are countries which do well which improve their performance over time. Colombia is an example of that, particularly with the signing of the peace agreement and the cessation of the conflict. There are cases of reversal and Burundi is an example of this. At the back of chapter 2 we have a series of country spotlights where you can see where we get behind the headlines to explore a bit what’s happening. Finally I just want to highlight the areas around security because that’s really a key innovation of this index compared to the swathe of index’s which already exist. As I mentioned we talked this at three level at the family level, community level and societal level. I think you all know that intimate partner violence is the most common form of violence experienced by women globally. About 1 in three women experience violence in their lifetimes. We measure this violence by drawing from a UN women’s database which ranges as high as 78% in Angola to a low of 6% in Singapore. In chapter 3 we had some brief investigation of these patterns and we discovered that rates of intimate partner violence tend to be higher in countries which are suffering conflict at large. About a one third higher risk of violence in the home in countries which are in conflict and we review some of the factors, PTSD, increased depression and alcohol use, loss of family support, breakdown of networks and law and order and so on. And the increased normalization of violence which may have repercussions for women at home. We’re also interested in looking at safety in the community and here we draw on a useful questions asked by the Gallup world poll which asks, “Do you feel safe in your neighborhood at night?” Here we find globally 2 in 3 adult feel safe, but in some countries the number is significantly lower, for example, in Venezuela the number is 1 in 10 feel safe. There are also gender gaps in country safety. The average gender gap is about 7 percentage points which is quite sizeable but is much higher in some countries such as Australia and Saudi Arabia which both have gender gaps of about 35% points. There are massive differences in the senses of safety between women and men. Women who felt unsafe in the community also feel less safe at home. Finally, but not least, Let me just let you about the measure of societal insecurity which we use. We really on something called the Oopsala conflict data program data measure which is regarded by conflict experts as the gold standard for conflict data. It captures state based violence and one sided violence. Countries show up if there is more than 25 deaths per 100,000. The good news is that out of the 153 countries in our database 113 have zero so most countries are at peace but for the rest there are high levels of violence, death and a tendency to relapse into conflict. It doesn’t capture the wider negative costs of conflict so for example we know in countries where conflict exists rates of maternal mortality tend to be higher; we don’t capture this in these numbers. At the moment it’s the best measure we have and provides the country coverage and transparency we need. But the upshot is that security at these different dimensions are all key aspects of women’s wellbeing and too many governments are failing to provide this basic level of security.
So finally, looking ahead were very pleased to share the results and were keen to raise awareness of the index to people and stakeholders. The simplicity of the ranking while still proving a comprehensive picture we think is an important part of its potential value.. I do hope you have time to look at the report and it useful to your work. At the same time we do recognize that we have just scratched the surface so for example were undertaking work now to explore what the differences are within countries like Nigeria, India, China where we have province leve data and we can document different trends in these states. We want a toolkit for advocates. You can download the report per chapter and pull out some of the comparative results. We plan to fully update the index and ranking next year and we hope this will showcase where progress is being made but also shine the light on regressions and failure. I do look forward to feedback and the discussion.
Chair- Thank you very much, Laura has covered this issue and many issues on sexual violence such as the gender pay gap and abuse in the palace of Westminster.
I’m going to be so specific because obviously what we cover is global and what I cover is politics here and particularly the issues facing women in the UK. So often what I hear from members of my family is that we don’t have gender issues anymore, we have a female prime minister, look at you how great your job is. Working in an all-male team working in an all-male team and the reality is that it’s not and this global index shows we have issues and sometimes I think a lot of people in Britain we look at justice and security and wouldn’t necessarily associate them we things in the UK. One of the aspects you looked at was parliamentary representation ad I want to talk about this quickly, because I looked into this recently. I looked into the makeup of the cabinet today. If you look into the percentages, when Tony Blair left office, he had more women in his cabinet than Theresa May did today. Out of all the special advisors in the cabinet 6 out of 29 are women. If you look at the SPADS across parliament about one quarter are, if you look at the MP’s about one third of MP’s. Why does this matter? If you look at some really niche issues like Universal Credit which has been in the news massively. One of the elements of universal credit which is being criticised is the single payment system. Under the old legacy system you would receive your benefits as a man and woman independently into your own bank account in each individual household. Under universal credit, one member of the couple will nominate their bank account. If you’re in an abusive relationship which you might associate with things going on in Sierra Leone or Somalia, you’re going to find you’re allowance put into the account of your abusive partner. Why does this link to parliamentary representation. When civil servants sit around deciding these policies, nobody in the room thought of this. No one thought this meant that things were going back to the 1950’s where were going to put all the housing income into a man’s bank account so when the women needs food, or nappies she has to ask his permission. That’s why these conversations are important. I’ll give you another one. In the last election, we had Liz Trust as Justice Secretary. We had a bill which was going to abolish victims of domestic abuse being cross examined in the family courts by their abusers. This doesn’t happen in the criminal court of course. You wouldn’t get a rape victim to be cross examined by her rapist. The family courts put children first and assume each parent is a reasonable human being. That bill has disappeared. Women are still going in to fight to have access to their children and to look after when and they are being told by the judge, you can’t have a screen, he is allowed to question you. He can make you look like a bad mother. These are two issues we would see resolved if we had more women participating. The results of this index is really useful to have this because the PM is always saying she is dedicated to women’s rights and domestic abuse, and I do believe her but women are feeling less secure and through this index we can prove it. This is a good time to be having this conversation, Harvey Weinstein, METOO, the gender pay gap, all these things dispel the myth that we don’t have gender inequality. Having something that people can hold up and say to the Justice Department, the Home Office look women aren’t feeling secure, the Police aren’t doing their job. They’re not responding right to this, they have not got the training, in prisons were not creating programs to stop men abusing. This is the first of its kind and if we can focus it on the UK so people can use it to hold the government to account as people have something to measure progress against.
Emily – Laura addressed the UK context and I do sit on the committee for the National Action Plan, but my actual perspective from reading this report comes from my perspective from living in Afghanistan. I sent 6 years working there, but also countering violent extremism so I’m going to reflect briefly on these two areas. It is great the Ambassador in Oslo made comments about the improvement of Afghanistan’s position. You would hope it would be. The violence against women’s law brought in, in 2009 has meant that Afghanistan has finally tracking a lot of incidents. I was on the committee to design Afghanistan’s National action committee 1325 which took 2 years and finally was released in 2015. Were in 2018 and it hasn’t been implemented and quite clearly as you say, money doesn’t matter, if we think off all the investment/ Huge investment. We can debate about whether that investment was directed towards women’s rights, I would say it wasn’t. But clearly we still have a very long way to go. We look at numbers. We’ve reflected on women in Parliament. You can have women sitting on chairs but if they can’t influence policy decisions then it’s going to have very minimal impact. I particularly liked the perception of men to women in the work place. Actually I thought this was a really good indicator which reflects many of the cultural barriers that women have in these countries and is a more useful measure than number of people in parliament. Thinking about that I look a lot about the role of women in building more peaceful societies. We all know the evidence. If you have more women who are empowered you have societies which are less violent. More women in peace processes means that these processes last longer. We do need to support women’s role in public life as well as protecting them domestically. My concern is to countering violent extremism. I often come out as the cautious women’s advocate because I actually think that countering violent extremism initiative which I do a lot of work in is potentially damaging to women’s role in this space. There’s a lot of conflation of genders. People say if we empower women we end up with less violent extremism. Actually there’s a measure between peaceful societies and violent extremism. This extremism emerges in societies emerges in equal and democratic societies so it’s really important not to presume that because you’re doing it on a particular country that you will affect violent extremism levels. My argument in this space is listen to women about what they need and in many contexts if we focus on women engaging in a security realm we might actually be putting them in more risk. If we go back to the afghan example, you might say we need more female police officers. That’s self-evident, we need more females engaging at a community level, but what we didn’t look at is what facilities are available to these women. There are no segregated bathrooms or changing facilities. What we actually had was more women in the police being raped. This is the context within which we work. At the same time, one of the popular things in countering violent extremism is that mothers are best placed to spot the signs of violent extremism. Every time I see a statement I roll my eyes. I do not want to undermine a mother’s role but simply we end up putting women in a materialized role in their place in society. It no longer becomes them as an individual, it becomes them as a role as a mother to counter violent extremism. Women I have interviewed in developing contexts, but also in the west about this. They keep looking at me like, were making them go to school and trying to get them so not take drugs, now you want me to counter violent extremism. What about the husbands, what about the fathers. The point really is that we need to be cautious and sensitive when we talk about women’s empowerment and we need to talk to women about what they see as empowerment. I think this goes back to Laura’s final comment, if you only have men around a table. Which we often do, we end up with a gender neutral view of what’s going on and a gender neutral view is often masculine view. I’ll leave it at that.
Chair – Thank you so much and on to Sophie, the Deputy Director at the Henry Jackson Society.
Sophie – Thank you so much, it’s a pleasure to have you all hear and to everyone in the room. I joined The Henry Jackson Society two months ago and its clear to me that organization involved in the security and foreign affairs space do not find enough space for women’s voice. This is something I really want to make as part of my mission at HJS so I hope to host many more events like this. So I’m just going to talk a bit about populism which is what I mainly work on and why I think it is an issue of gender. Populism evidently poses threats to various minority groups but we don’t often look at the way in which it interacts with women’s, power and representation and status in society. So a couple of ways which I think are relevant. Many populists who come to power are aided by churches or other religious institutions. Sometimes there is a cohesion around their vision of social conservatism and traditional family values which doesn’t necessarily benefit women’s rights, particularly women’s reproductive rights. There was a referendum in Romania which was especially unusual because it was about same sex marriage and of course we have had many referendums around the world on this issue. This was not about changing the law in favor of same sex marriage it was about reversing the capacity of same sex couples to marry. We can see in this example how liberalism which we have always regarded as a linear force which is being mediated. We can see this in the United States where Row v Wade is back on the table. Issues which we thought were being settled where progress was being made are changing. We are now living in a time when there are certain dynamics in our political environments that I think certain interests groups and campaigners. Candidates and campaigners are realizing that things under attack which we thought were settled.
The disturbing thing about gender and populism as part of their concerns around generation have advanced the idea that native women should be procreating as a national duty. There is often this idea if more white women were having babies then we wouldn’t need all these immigrant to reverse the big issues which face us today like demographic decline. In the German election campaign the AFD had these very spooky posters with a pregnant women on the front stating new Germans we will make them ourselves. We have seen this in the language of Gert Wilders in the Netherlands and the Polish and Hungarian Governments. They have introduced a lot of family focused and tax incentive policies, and while I am very much in favor of all of those initiatives. I do not think all these policies are done so in the interest of women. I think the incentives are quite nefarious and political. I think in this we can see why so many women do vote for populist parties. This is something very confounding for liberal women who don’t understand why women are voting for these right wing populist parties. The parties are interventionist on the economy and promote expansions of the welfare state of which women are on the frontline so are exposed more to the forces of social competition. Finally, populists do depict themselves as defenders against political correctness. While I do worry about the overextension of political correctness as a silencing tool, we have to acknowledge that this originated from a choice in our societies to prioritize and elevate representation and empowerment of groups which have long been marginalized and that includes women. It’s not just an attack on men, it’s a correct on equality which all humans should we afforded. We need to take populism seriously as a potential threat. There are many women voting for these parties, but I think we need to recognize that we are in an era of profound instability and we cannot take anything for granted.
Chair – Thank you so much, all the speakers have been so interesting. You have all had different issues which is great. Much better when you have a panel which says the same thing. Ok, on to questions, please could you say your name?
We will take three questions together
Question – Inaudible-
Question – Dr Christian Amy, I believe that we need an organization which can give a peace guarantee which can create stability so we can have a civilized society. That’s it, that’s my idea.
Question – I am just curious speaking to the panel, it seems to me pervasive, and do you ever consider that women who are voting that way are doing so because of insecurities or fear of being liberated because for so many generations they have not. Look at the American rustbelt, that’s exactly what happened, they have no social mobility. Where does that come from? Why they vote that way.
Chair – We will just take one more. The lady there.
Question – I worked in conflict zones as well including Afghanistan but I have left and now I am helping to campaign against Brexit. I am hoping to bring the lessons I learnt to the UK. It’s not a question of numbers, it’s a bringing the female approach to politics and I would say that part of the reason were in the crisis we are in in because we have had a very male approach to politics and if I could suggest, we need to bring women’s collaborativeness to the table and their ability to admit failure and learn lessons and learn from others and admit mistakes. We are very focused on economic approaches which is a very male approach. Sophia I know you focused on economic levers and I think women are better and bringing stability. What do you think about bringing the female approach and not just the numbers?
Jeni – I will reflect on a couple, they are all interesting points which have been raise. I would like to thank the panel for their reflections. On japan, looking overall at the numbers, the country really does very poorly in terms of parliamentary representation; about 1 in 8 are female. One of the aspects we don’t capture is the pay gap. There is significant occupational segregation. The culture in the corporate level in a number of places is problematic and has come out with the me two movement. It is also a possibility to see how change is possible. This is though leadership through policy and rules as well as employee involvement. There is an important tool and edge. Inaudible.
There is an interesting tool which is economic dividends for gender equality which is working with companies around the world trying to measure and document levels of gender equality in the firm and progress over time. So I think those tools are a great way to make progress by helping companies hold themselves to account. One thing I do want to mention, in an exit of this type it is quantitative and because it’s global in scope, it is very important to go behind the numbers. The objective is to inform but also to inspire. So we go to the UK and ask what does this mean and allow us to do a deeper investigation, particularly with regard to countries susceptible to violent extremism.
Emily – I will probably focus on the last question. It is the question which keeps me awake at night because it keeps me conflicted. I resist stereotypes about women being more peaceful, I think one of the things that the rise of the so called Islamic State was women’s involvement in violent extremism and when we’ve typically had gender blind counter terrorism strategies and gender blind approaches to investigating violent extremism we haven’t noted and we’ve been very remiss about noting women’s supporting violent extremism. Look at the caliphate or even Sri Lanka with the Tamil Tigers so I don’t want to get into this notion of women as peacemakers therefore more collaborative. Yet there is something to this. If you look at history there is something about women as peacemakers and being able to cross those divides. Bosnia is a great example of women’s networks which sprung up and able to cross between ethno-national divisions which had arisen. What does that mean? Biology versus learning. Are women biologically born more innately peaceful? Or do we learn to be because we have learnt to fit a certain societal approach. I definitely would support… if you had more equal participation in all contexts you are more likely to have more collaboration and more conflict resolution. Sorry if this doesn’t answer your question I am just averse to this stereotype of women as peaceful people.
Sophie – Really interesting questions. On this first point, about populist voters. There are generally two motivating factors; people voting for their own interests or people voting for their values. I spoke earlier about some of the interests might be in play with these populists parties whether that is a mirage or not. In terms of the values we do need to expect, many women hold socially conservative values. You can regard some of that as reinforcing patriarchal values, but we also empower women with a degree of choice and we have to accept that we empower women with a degree of choice and people views do diverge. We see both of those in play. I do also think the third factor is complacency and now everything is to play for and these long held beliefs are going out the door. Much of this index is showing the volatility is developing countries, but we also have to accept the volatility in developing as well as developed countries. Advanced democracies are at risk and quite fragile themselves. What is missing if you’re just thinking in terms of interests and values, is the interests of society as a whole. Many some women would have otherwise thought that these aren’t my values, but I’m going to vote this way so that women have freedom. There is so much social competition being promoted by political systems that the sense of community is what is being lost. People are thinking much more individually and tribally. Finally on google. We need to accept these big tech companies can have an influence which rivals states, certainly in the role of national governments. In Silicon Valley, many of these organizations are staffed predominately by men. They have a strategic and conceptual role in designing things. We need to think about that in terms of representation in the same way we think about governments because it’s having an impact on our lives. Great there will be spin offs done by women, perhaps in a superficial way. Dating applications like tinder, designed by men, we have had a sexual harassment law suit. The women involved ended up spinning of and making her own one based around the needs of women. That’s brilliant and that’s great, and it’s filling a market need but we don’t women to only be able to live their lives in spaces created only for women.
Laura – I actually lived in Japan for three years so this is my memory of it. It’s not scientific. I remember there was a lot of homelessness and suicide. A lot of men. There was a huge amount of pressure on men to act a certain way, to go to work, huge incredible work ethics which I don’t think we would recognize in this country. And when you have stereotypes for men then as a byproduct you have stereotypes for women. When men are pressured to do that they will see women’s role in a different way. That’s not scientific, don’t put that in the report. That’s my general observation.
The female approach question is really interesting because I also have sleepless nights. I’ve been to events where they’ve tried to get more women to run and a conservative rung me recently and aid we have to make the point that women have a different approach and them we can offer something else. Then I have to go back to a certain topic and I could talk about it all day, but it’s a sexual harassment culture in this building. I am aware of women working under a political leader whose job it has been is to go out and tell young complainants, oh do you really want to make a complaint, and damage the party and our chances of being elected. I’ve seen women cover up for their colleagues. All the stories which came out, the women knew about that, they were in the building, in the room and they knew exactly who we were writing about. It isn’t enough to just have lots of women in the building. When you have more female researches and journalists slowly cultures change, but you can’t expect a women to go into a room and call out something which is wrong because often they don’t.
Question – I a very, very impressed with everything. I survived FGM when I was 11, I campaign against it, I have set up my own organization against it. Imagine what it is like for women like ourselves, we are at the bottom. Inaudible.
Question – I was going to ask, Jeni, thank you all for those different perspectives What exactly is going to be done with it, by whom and how. We would all love to see women more empowered, greater peace, and greater security. How is this going to happen?
Jeni – I think the dissemination is important and frankly we had the opportunity here today but general it is through online dissemination. I would be happy to talk to you about things that would be useful for your network. It is fairly easy to put together a country profile and the advantage of that, and this is going to Sarah’s question how it can be used, the value is spotlighting the deficits as well as the achievements particularly with regard to neighboring countries. To show whether the UK is doing poorly. The advocates and policy makers on the ground to hold governments to account. We’re not telling you exactly how to do it what we’re doing is to show where the weaknesses are, where the performances are strong which can make a difference in moving the agenda forward. We hope it’s a useful tool, we hope it can make a difference, we hope the global comparisons and regional comparisons can be used to name and shame but a lot more work needs to be done. That depends on the media, on think tanks, it depends on other researchers to move the agenda forward.
Emily – I think that you’ve fed into it. I’m thinking what can I do at RUSI, a think tank, do to make sure this report can be disseminated widely? I think it is to write and hold governments to account. If you have an index you can say, for example, to the afghan government in ten yours time, look you’re still at the bottom. I also think. Maybe Jeni and I need to follow up after this, I do a lot of work globally on countering violent extremism and there are ways which can make this report disseminated at each of the countering violent extremism levels which I do. I would look to explore that.
Sophie – As I said at the beginning foreign policy think tanks can so often be a conversation that is led by men I think making sure gender voice and representation is so important whether it is on the issues level or just physically being involved that is something I am absolutely making a priority in HJS.
Laura _ as a journalist I am writing a story tomorrow about barriers stopping women running as candidates. You can then go and question why we are here and call up a department which puts people on the spot because they have to get back to you and then they will be aware of it.