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Labour Rules referring to Gender Balance

The Labour Party lays out its commitment to ensuring equal representation of women in positions of power within the party, which is codified and applied to all levels of the party within Chapter 15, Model Procedural Rules, Clause 1, O iii. of the current Labour Party Rule book, which states:

This Party unit accepts the principle of minimum quotas for women at all levels of representation within the Party and shall take steps to ensure that 50 per cent of any delegation shall be women and, where only one delegate is appointed, a woman shall hold the position at least every other year.

In my experience, this commitment encounters a surprising level of resistance from ordinary party members (particularly when you’re enforcing that equality at the disadvantage of an existing member).

To save everyone else the trouble, I’ve gone through and extracted (to the best of my ability) all of the rules that refer to the party’s commitment to gender equality, they are:

Chapter 7, Rules for CLPs

  • Clause VIII, Officers, 2
    “The Executive Officers of this CLP shall be; chair, vice-chair, vice-chair/ membership, secretary, treasurer, women’s officer. At least three of these officers shall be women. This CLP may, with the approval of the NEC add other Executive Officer posts drawn from amongst its Coordinator roles subject to the gender quota being amended appropriately.”
    see page 30 (print) or page 33 (pdf)
  • Clause XI, The General Meeting, 4
    “It shall be the duty of the General Meeting of this CLP to ensure that at least 50 per cent of their delegates to other Party bodies (where delegate entitlement is more than one) shall be women.”
    see page 31 (print) or page 34 (pdf)

Chapter 8, Rules for Branches

  • Clause IV, Officers and Executive Committee, 1
    “The officers of this branch shall be chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer. At least two of the officers shall be women. This branch shall appoint two auditors and other functional officers as required.”
    see page 34 (print) or page 37 (pdf)
  • Clause VII, Miscellaneous, 1
    “The general provisions of the constitution and rules of the Party shall apply to this branch.”
    see page 34 (print) or page 37 (pdf)

Chapter 12, Rules for Labour Party Local Campaign Forums

  • Clause V. Officers and Executive Committee, 3
    “The officers shall consist of a chair, vice-chair, and secretary. At least one of the officers shall be a woman.”
    see page 44 (print) or page 47 (pdf)

Chapter 13, Rules for local government Labour groups on principal authorities

  • Clause V, Group Officers, 1
    “The Labour group shall appoint group officers at the annual meeting in accordance with the group standing orders, and in a manner that ensures equality of opportunity and encourages underrepresented groups to come forward. As a minimum, the gender balance of the officer group will reflect the gender balance of the Labour group as a whole. Any deviation from this will require consent from your RD(GS).”
    see page 49 (print) or page 52 (pdf)
  • Clause VI, Group Executive, 1
    “Where the Labour group chooses to appoint a group executive, the group shall do so at its annual meeting in accordance with the group standing orders, and in a manner that ensures equality of opportunity and encourages under-represented people to come forward. As a minimum, the gender balance of the Labour group executive will reflect the gender balance of the Labour group as a whole. Any deviation from this without explicit consent of the RD(GS) may lead to disciplinary action.”
    see page 49 (print) or page 52 (pdf)

Chapter 15, Model Procedural Rules

  • Clause 1, O iii.
    “This Party unit accepts the principle of minimum quotas for women at all levels of representation within the Party and shall take steps to ensure that 50 per cent of any delegation shall be women and, where only one delegate is appointed, a woman shall hold the position at least every other year.”
    see page 58 (print) or page 61 (pdf)