London 2016 Mayoral Elections
The 2016 London Mayoral Elections offered a fascinating insight into the priorities and views of various members of the largest parties in the UK political system.
What are the issues for women in London?
Gender equality is a London issue. Many of the pressures on London and its economy are falling especially hard upon women.
There are over four million women and girls in London At the last Mayoral Election women in London were more likely to make their minds up at the last minute, with 13% of women compared to 8% of men still unsure who to vote for in the final week before the election.Women are also less likely to be strong partisans in national elections, and because men and women have equal levels of turnout, women are therefore more likely to be floating voters and had the potential to be the decisive swing vote in the London Mayoral election 2016.
So what are the issues facing women in London in 2016?
Women in work: The gender pay gap in London is 20.5%, compared to the national figure of 13.9% (the mean for full-time workers).
Families and care: The average cost of a childcare place for 25 hours per week in London is £150.60, 35.9% above the rest of Britain.
Power – Representation and Participation: Out of the 25 Members of the Greater London Authority, only 8 are women (32%).
Safety, Security and Transport: Transport for London (TfL) services are one of the most common environments that sexual assault is committed in. 31% of women aged 18 to 24 have experienced unwanted sexual attention while on public transport as have 24% of women aged 25 to 34.
These are just scratching the surface of issues for women in London – read our full London briefing here.
Calls to Action
We called upon the candidates to outline how they would address women’s inequality in the following areas:
- Gender Pay Gap – How would the Mayor bring the gender pay gap down from being the highest in Britain?
- Childcare – What would the candidates do to improve the affordability and quality of childcare both across London and in the most underprovisioned areas?
- Women’s Representation – What could be done to advance women from all backgrounds in public life in London?
- Affordable Housing – How would London’s housing crisis be addressed, and the interests of women in social housing protected, especially single mothers.
- Transport and Safety – What would each candidate promise to tackle violence against women and girls in London and to make public transport safer for women
Sian Berry, Green Party. Read Sian Berry’s response to our briefing.
Zac Goldsmith, Conservative Party. Zac Goldsmith did not respond to our briefing.
Sadiq Khan, Labour. Read Sadiq Khan’s response to our briefing.
Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrats. Read Caroline Pidgeon’s response to our briefing.
Sophie Walker, Women’s Equality Party. Read Sophie Walker’s response to our briefing.
Following the election results, we welcome Sadiq Khan’s commitments to gender equality, and found his response to our briefing very encouraging. His promises to be a feminist in City Hall, and encourage girls to study STEM subjects are important. As well as his commitment to establishing a London Childcare Commission to take a look at the standard of childcare across the city.