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WOMEN ON PUBLIC BODIES IN THE UK

One less well-known area of public decision-making and influence is that of public bodies. Here as elsewhere the picture for women is better than in the past but still unsatisfactory. According to the Cabinet Office's report Public Bodies 2009, women hold not quite a third of appointments to these bodies at the UK level (32.9%), similar to the figures for devolved bodies in Northern Ireland and better than those in Wales but less than in Scotland.

Women on the UK public bodies, March 2009

Sponsor department

Women

Men

% women

Department of Health

922...

1728.

35

Cabinet Office

32

91

26

Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills

57

253

18

Home Office

41...

99.

23

Northern Ireland Office

46

79

37

Department for Children Schools and Families

77..

100

44

Department of Work & Pensions

64

89.

42

Department of Energy and Climate Change

24

89

21

Department of Culture, Media & Sport

190..

363

34

Department for International Development

7

8

47

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

20

52

28

Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform**

114..

336.

25

Ministry of Justice

1671....

2138.

44

Food Standards Agency

32

68

32

Department for Communities & Local Government

329

1003

25

Department for Transport

29..

98.

23

Royal Mint

--

8

--

Ministry of Defence

68

309

18

HM Treasury

--

21

--

Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

170..

1155.

13

Forestry Commission

16

63

20

Government Equalities Office***

24

6

80

Northern Ireland Court Service

37

71

34

Export Credits Guarantee Department

0

7

0

Total/Average

3976.....

8234

32.6

* Number less than five are represented by "--"
** The Department for Business,Enterprise & Regulatory Reform replaced the Department for Trade and Industry in 2007. It was then replaced in 2009 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in June 2009. Figures reflect the pre-June 2009 situation.
*** The Government Equalities Office was created in October 2007 with the Women and Equality Unit being converted into an independent department. The office heads responsibility for gender equality in the UK government as well as providing advice on the full range of forms of equality to all government departments.

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