‘Gen­der’ is miss­ing from Street pledges

Birmingham Post - - LETTERS -

DEAR Ed­i­tor, The al­most to­tal ab­sence of women in the gov­er­nance of the WMCA (Chris Game, Post, Septem­ber 28) is mir­rored by the al­most com­plete ab­sence of women and gen­der is­sues from its poli­cies.

Take for ex­am­ple the Strate­gic Eco­nomic Plan. There is no men­tion of the gen­der in­equal­i­ties that are rife in the West Mid­lands econ­omy – in fact the word “gen­der” does not ap­pear at all.

Sim­i­larly “gen­der” doesn’t ap­pear in Andy Street’s may­oral elec­tion man­i­festo and its 229 pol­icy “pledges”, and the only ref­er­ence to women is in re­la­tion to sport.

The ex­pla­na­tion does not lie fun­da­men­tally in the vir­tual ex­clu­sion of women from the board, though that ur­gently needs to change. It lies in the WMCA’s model of eco­nomic growth in which re­duc­ing the deep so­cial in­equal­i­ties in the West Mid­lands, which are re­pro­duced by the func­tion­ing of its econ­omy, is not an in­te­gral pri­or­ity.

To se­ri­ously tackle them re­quires a very dif­fer­ent ap­proach: an eco­nomic strat­egy for in­clu­sive growth that makes tack­ling in­equal­i­ties cen­tral to its aims and per­for­mance mea­sures. Richard Hatcher, Handsworth Wood,


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