STRAIGHT TALK: Time for girl power in Spalding

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I don’t personally support the Conservative party, but I was quite impressed with East Midlands MEP Emma McClarkin’s recent report on violence against women.

“It’s shocking that in this day and age, there is still violence against women in the EU”, she commented.

Being a bit of a feminist myself, I completely agree with this statement. This led me on to thinking about gender equality.

Even in Spalding, there is an absence of gender equality. For example, we don’t have a mixed secondary school in the town.

Caistor Grammar School is the best school in terms of GCSE performance in Lincolnshire and it is mixed.

So, by keeping single-gender schools in Spalding, are we going backwards rather than forwards?

I then researched further into our local organisations and just how fair they really are.

First, I went online and visited Tulip Radio. According to the schedule, there is only one woman with a regular slot and she presents with a man.

What does this say about Spalding’s views on women, when our voice is primarily male?

I counted up around 27 presenters on the schedule, and only one of those was a woman.

What is worse than that is the statistics from our local council. Of our district councillors, there are seven women and 30 men.

Our county councillors consist of one woman and eight men. Our MP is also a man.

Considering the population of Spalding should be roughly equal, our representation is far from it. Furthermore, on a national scale, Westminster won’t have reached the point of complete gender equality for another 200 years according to BBC News.

Last year, some students from the Gleed Girls School and the Gleed Boys School took part in a work experience project.

The girls went out and worked in environments that would usually be associated with men (e.g construction), while the boys went out into ‘girly’ working environments (e.g floristry).

I decided to research how many women actually do these sorts of jobs. In 2006, around 10,000 builders began working on London’s Wembley Stadium, yet only 0.05% of these builders were women.

Overall, women make up around one per cent of builders, in spite of the fact that Britain is in need of 350,000 more.

Equally, in the police force, there are around 167,174 members but only 36,807 are women. This makes up about 22%.

So whether its joining the police force or just volunteering for Tulip Radio, it might be time that Spalding got some girl power.