A Tory story: OUCA reject claim that party has “a problem with women”

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OUCA rejected the claim that the national party has “a problem with women” in a debate this week.

At its weekly “Port and Policy” meeting on Sunday, the University Conservative Association’s members discussed the proposition “This house believes the Tory party has a problem with women”.

The motion was narrowly defeated.

President Jack Matthews said the discussion was “open and interesting”.

“To bring about change, we must first recognise what the problem is – that there are not enough women involved in politics. Like all major political parties, we must work harder to build a more representative Party and Parliament.”

“Following a debate on the Sochi Olympics, where I was proud to see a house united in condemning Putin’s oppression of the Russian LGBT community, I’m glad OUCA had this open and interesting discussion. We are not afraid to admit those areas where we can improve,” he added.

Maryam Ahmed, a student who also spoke in the discussion, said the root of the problem lies outside Parliament.

“Of course there is a lack of women in Parliament, but the problem lies out there in the real world rather than in the Commons. We need to tackle the issue of gender equality from the ground up,” she said.

“Until the media stops fixating on Theresa May’s footwear rather than her policies, until toyshops stop peddling dolls for girls and Lego for boys, and until our society develops a healthy attitude towards women in positions of power, we won’t have equal representation in government or any sphere of public life.”

In the 2010 general election, 16% of Conservative MPs elected were women, compared to 31% for the Labour Party and 12% for the Liberal Democrats.

The current Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition Cabinet has four women ministers out of a total of 22.

An earlier motion at the same event, “This house would boycott the Sochi Olympics”, also failed to pass.