Wales politics

New law-making powers could be used to promote women

Jane Hutt
Image caption Finance Minister Jane Hutt has been in the Welsh cabinet for nearly 16 years

New law-making powers for Wales could be used to get more women in roles in public life, a senior Welsh government minister has told BBC Wales.

Jane Hutt said: "If we could use the law, then we would use the law."

She said "great progress" had been made getting more women on public boards through "affirmative positive action" but more needed to be done.

Ms Hutt, a cabinet minister since the assembly's creation in 1999, was speaking on International Women's Day.

"I think the new powers that we are going to have for the assembly, and the future, put this assembly in such a good place", she told BBC's Sunday Politics Wales.

Ms Hutt said she was proud of the role she had played in political life in Wales: "I helped start the first Women's Aid refuge, I helped start up a women's training workshop, I was director of Chwarae Teg - fair play for women - before I became an AM. That's my politics".

A new devolution package, unveiled by UK ministers last month, offered the Welsh assembly new powers over assembly and council elections.

Currently, 40% of AMs are women - down from 50% in 2003. Almost a quarter - 23% - of Welsh MPs and peers are female and 27% of councillors.

Sunday Politics Wales is on BBC One Wales at 11:00 GMT on Sunday 8 March.

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