The election has sparked a number of debates, mainly from the three main political parties, but also from women who feel they have been underrepresented during the campaign.
Last week a number of female Labour parliamentary candidates spoke out about how the leaders’ wives are the only women getting attention, despite the fact that a record number of women are standing for the party.
The Guardian reported that the deputy leader for Labour Harriet Harman, said: “Politics has always been male-dominated – that’s why we have much more work to do.”
Speaking to the newspaper, Kat Banyard, co-founder of UK Feminista and author of The Equality Illusion, commented: “As we watch this election, it is clear that women politicians are markedly absent. We have a lot of wives, but not many women MPs. “All the main players are white men. The lack of female role models is really stark.”
However, should the Conservatives win the majority there will be as many as 60 women in parliament, pointed out Theresa May, shadow work and pensions secretary.
As for supporting women’s issues during the election, Ceri Goddard, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, commented that much of the campaign has been focused on women as mothers rather than covering issues of working women.
In response, the group, which supports gender equality, has set up the What About Women? campaign.
It brings together more than 40 organisations from all industries and levels in the UK workforce to champion women’s issues and ask politicians to pledge support for women in key policy areas such as equality.
The move comes just months before the new Equality Act comes into effect this autumn and as the new government begins to roll up its sleeves.
Another group of career women voicing their concern over female representation during the election are five businesswomen from south-west England.
They have set up an event, Unsuited and Unbooted, to provide support and information to businesswomen through networking.
Speaking before the event on May 21st, guest speaker Saira Khan, from the BBC show The Apprentice, commented: “If you look at the policies of the three main parties there seems to be very little aimed at women and yet there are a huge number of women who are either running their own businesses or looking to start up a business.”
She added: “I know from personal experience how hard it can be to get funding and investment support from organisations that are still run by the traditional white, middle-class, middle-aged males.”
There will be a number of workshops encouraging women to support each other and work towards succeeding in a male-dominated environment.