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(From Government News Network)
] NEWS DISTRIBUTION SERVICE Government Equalities Office 3 November 2008 Harman: Black and Asian women are the 'missing voice of local democracy'
Issued by News Distribution Service on behalf of Government Equalities Office
New data shows ethnic minority women are chronically under-represented in local government
Harriet Harman, Minister for Women and Equalities, will stress at a reception in Westminster today the need for local councils to have more Black, Asian and minority ethnic women as new data shows numbers have fallen back since 2006.
This year only around 149 out of 19,617 councillors across England are minority ethnic women, compared with 164 in 20061. This represents less than one per cent of all councillors, when minority ethnic women make up more than five per cent of the population. To fully reflect society the number of female minority ethnic councillors would have to rise nearer to 1000.
The number of white women councillors across England however has increased by 283 since 2006 to 5,606 - making up nearly a third of all councillors. While progress has been made, white women are still under-represented as they make up about 45 per cent of England's population.
Wales and Scotland2 have no female black or Asian councillors at all, despite having a BAME women population of 30,510 and 49,769 respectively3. This compares with …