Campaign group calls for women to 'use their vote' in mayoral and PCC elections
A GENDER equality group is calling for women to "use their vote" in the up-coming mayoral and police and crime commissioner (PCC) elections.
Given the unequal number of female candidates, Bristol Fawcett wants to see voters find out what each candidate can do for issues concerning women.
Green party's Daniella Radice is the only woman among 15 mayoral candidates, while independent Sue Mountstevens is the only woman out of the four PCC candidates.
To raise awareness and scrutinise candidates, Bristol Fawcett have started the 'wearstheshoes' campaign in association with their national project, Counting Women In.
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Helen Mott from Bristol Fawcett, who is helping co-ordinating the campaign, said: "Obviously we are disappointed with the proportion of women in both elections and we want to encourage women to vote and get involved in the politics of the city."
Ms Mott said that the turnout reflects the disproportionate amount of men to women in positions of power in the city.
In a report by Bristol Fawcett, figures show that Bristol is behind the rest of Britain when looking at women in the public and private sector.
Ms Mott said: "You would think to look at Bristol - with its three female MPs - that we are a city which embraces equality, in fact we are considerably behind the UK average."
Ms Radice, who is running for mayor while looking after two of her children, aged four and six, said that changes need to be made to make it easier for women to enter into politics.
She said: "It's a matter of recognising what the barriers are. The whole way in which politics has been set up needs to be addressed.
"Council meetings are normally at 6pm or 7pm in the evening which is really unsociable when you have got kids coming home from school and a partner who finishes work late. At the moment the system is set up around men. This needs to change."
Ms Radice also said that she would make sure quality childcare was a priority if elected as mayor.
She said: "We must continue to provide good quality, affordable child care as its vital for all women."
Bristol Fawcett's campaign, along with their report comes as Bristol is to host its first women's mayoral hustings on Wednesday October 31.Elections for the mayor and the police and crime commissioner will be held on November 15.