When David Cameron became its leader in 2005, he appeared determined to ‘feminise’ the Conservative Party, both by increasing women’s political representation and by addressing their interests and concerns. The first section of this chapter explores the reasons for this move by placing it in the context of the gender environment and policy agenda inherited from 13 years of Labour government; this generated powerful pragmatic political motivations for change. The second section identifies pressures and counter-pressures for feminisation within the Conservative Party, the third outlines Cameron’s key promises to women and the fourth assesses what the coalition government has delivered in practice. The chapter concludes that Cameron’s commitment to feminisation seems largely cosmetic, and that it is incompatible with the policies his government has pursued.
|Title of host publication
|Cameron and the Conservatives
|Subtitle of host publication
|The Transition to Coalition Government
|Timothy Heppell, David Seawright
|Number of pages
|Published - 7 Feb 2012