Should more women be in charge?
Under-18s debate gender and power with politicians
4-22 March 2013
Why is there still a pay gap between men and women? Why are
there so few female MPs? Why are the top jobs in business and the media
dominated by men?
From Monday 4 March the HeadsUp
forum – Should more women be in
charge? – will be open for
under-18s to debate with politicians and key decision-makers what is holding
women back from reaching the top of their professions.
Dame Tessa Jowell MP, one of the participants in the forum, says: ‘When
I was Women’s Minister I did a fairly big piece of work
interviewing 500 young women around the country to understand the pay gap and
to understand to what extent it was a given which victimised young women in the
workplace and to what extent it
represented the nature of their choices. What really shocked me about that
consultation was how so many girls linked their lack of progression to
dissatisfaction with their appearance. The body image phenomenon is an
understated part of this whole dynamic.’
The Should more women be in charge? debate coincides with
International Women’s Day (8 March) and runs from Monday 4 March - Friday 22
March. It will remain open 24 hours a day over the three-week period to allow
users the opportunity to drop in and
out of the debate. Discussion topics include;
is there still a gap between men and women’s pay? – Do women
still face discrimination in the workplace?
Why are the majority of the world’s poor
women and not men?
it matter whether your MP is male or
female? – What puts women off politics? How can we get more women into the top political jobs?
childcare still seen as primarily a woman’s job? Will changing
maternity leave to parental leave change attitudes to childcare? Are women
discriminated against by employers for
are sectors like journalism and
business still mostly male? - Should we use the law to get more women in the boardroom? Do we need more female role models in the scientific &
HeadsUp is an
online space where young people can discuss political issues that affect them.
The forum, a safe moderated space,
can help students to increase their own political awareness, and links them
with key decision-makers in the subject area so their voices are heard by those
information is provided so that students can learn about the issues and
back up their arguments with facts and figures, ensuring that the debates are
well-informed and of high quality.
The forum is also
an effective teaching resource, particularly used for
the Citizenship curriculum, with each debate supported
plans and activities which can be used in class.
Decision-makers confirmed for
the debate include:
Tessa Jowell MP
Butler AM – Presiding Officer, National Assembly for
Gardiner – Working Families
You can see all the statements from decision-makers taking
part in this debate at Who’s Listening?
If you are an MP,
Peer, MSP, AM or MEP who is
interested in issues of gender and would like to be involved in the debate,
please contact HeadsUp Project Manager, Beccy Allen
- HeadsUp is
an innovative website where 11-18 year olds debate political issues and
learn about the political process. The site is a non-partisan, cross-party
educational resource that provides a secure, structured and
student-centred discussion platform.
- The final
HeadsUp forum planned for the 2012-13 school year is:
April - 17 May 2013 - Are we living our lives online?
ways to register to participate in HeadsUp:
HeadsUp forums are open to be
viewed and the debate followed by the public. Participants need to
register or log in to post
comments (11-18s and supporting
teachers/youth workers only).
project is part-funded by the House of Commons.
are over 1,000 schools currently registered with HeadsUp.