“Despite repeated warnings, political parties failed to take action to ensure a diverse and representative Senedd was elected.”
That’s the message from Chwarae Teg’s Chief Executive Cerys Furlong.
Following the election on the 6th May we have seen the overall proportion of women in the Senedd fall to 43% from 48%, demonstrating how precarious gender balance in the Senedd is. And while the election of the first woman of colour to the Senedd is incredibly welcome progress, it has taken far too long to happen.
Diversity in representation matters. Our democratic institutions should reflect the communities they serve, and when diverse voices are in the room different issues are discussed. Nowhere has this been clearer than in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, where policy decisions often exacerbated the already disproportionate impact the crisis was having on women, people of colour and those on low incomes, as a result of their needs and experiences being overlooked.
During the last Senedd term there were a number of opportunities to reform the electoral system in Wales to deliver greater diversity, but these were not taken. As a result we have a Senedd that is dominated by white men.