Isle of Man's Tynwald needs more women, report says

image captionSix women currently sit in Tynwald, including Daphne Caine, Ann Corlett, Julie Edge and Clare Bettison

The world's oldest continuous parliament needs more women, the author of an independent review has said.

Lord Lisvane's paper on the Isle of Man's Tynwald found it had less female representation than Iran, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and North Korea.

There were only two women among Tynwald's 35 members when his report was commissioned by the parliament.

Lord Lisvane said while the number of women had since improved, there was some way to go.

"There are now six female members of Tynwald, but when I was writing the report, the representation of women stood at 5.7%," he said.

That figure would place the parliament 181st on the Inter-Parliamentary Union's table of female representation in 193 countries.

image captionLord Lisvane said he was "certainly not suggesting electoral quotas or anything like that"

"This a major problem for Tynwald both in demonstrating diversity and in reflecting the society it serves," he said.

"If we can now move from six to 12 and perhaps eventually to parity, then nobody would be more pleased than I."

Lord Lisvane, who served as clerk to the UK's House of Commons, added he was "certainly not suggesting electoral quotas or anything like that".

Manx government figures show that women outnumber men on the Isle of Man, making up 50.3% of the population.

A record five women - Kate Beecroft, Ann Corlett, Julie Edge, Clare Bettison and Daphne Caine - were elected into the House of Keys in 2016 Manx general election.

Since then, Jane Poole-Wilson has been elected to Legislative Council, the parliament's upper house.

The review, which was commissioned by Tynwald itself, will be debated during the June sitting.

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