Women running for office – underestimate themselves

“The biggest issue for women running for office is low expectations: women underestimate themselves.”

Anne Tolley, MP from New Zealand, speaks about barriers that prevent women from running for office. She was speaking at the 140th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, held in Doha, 6-10 April 2019.

What are the barriers preventing women from getting into parliament?

“I think probably the biggest issue is low expectations. So, women underestimate themselves, and they don’t put themselves forward.

It requires women to put themselves forward and they are a bit more modest than men.”

What can parliaments do to encourage more women to become MPs?

We have been looking at harassment, and some of the issues women face if they want to take up leadership roles. Social media of course makes it extremely difficult. I have colleagues who receive horrendous messages which are racist, sexist, make you quite uncomfortable.

The way some MPs act (mostly men) is poor and at times appalling in parliament and via media, and also the way some people act on social media, must deter many people, especially women, from considering standing for Parliament.

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8 Comments

  1. David

     /  7th May 2019

    It is also one of the key reasons men earn more than women, men overrate themselves and women under value themselves so men go for bigger pay rises.
    If I was in any way well known/famous I would pay someone to manage my social media or would just post and never read the comments or replies.
    Twitter is a festering mess of a thing and society would be better off without it, we will look back one day and go what were we thinking we behaved like apes on this platform.

    Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  7th May 2019

    Tolley’s argument is well out of..date…bit like..her.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  7th May 2019

      It’s not even that, it’s insulting and makes excuses for women.

      We are half the population, forsooth.

      It angers me when people say that women need to be encouraged to do things; how bloody patronising. We are not children !!!

      Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  7th May 2019

    The last time I heard a woman lost for words was …. when?

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  7th May 2019

      When she heard this sort of patronising comment (not yours, the one above about women needing to be encouraged to stand for office) ?

      Reply
  4. Kitty Catkin

     /  7th May 2019

    Women behave badly, too. Look at Sarah Dowie and Marama Davison.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  7th May 2019

      behave badly , but in their own way. Maureen Pugh Claudette Hauiti

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  7th May 2019

        Meteria Turei.

        My grandmother and all her sisters (there were 11 children, no, they were not RCs) had careers. Their parents made it possible by paying their university costs and such things (Grandma was a lecturer, one sister was a doctor, another ended up as head of a government department in England and so on) But the girls did what they wanted to do. Dora, the one who became a doctor (and, contrary to what some people think, it wasn’t that uncommon then) wanted to be one even when she was a child. It didn’t occur to any of them that they wouldn’t have the careers that they wanted to have. It didn’t occur to their mother that they needed to be ‘encouraged’ as if they were children.

        Reply

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