Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

New Stateswoman

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

New Stateswoman

Article excerpt

"Politicians are so dreadfully afraid that the women's vote would not be given en masse in support of their own party ... They would be an unknown quantity in every constituency, and they are therefore dreaded by the party wirepullers."

That was Millicent Fawcett, writing in 1913, in the first women's issue of the New Statesman--a special supplement on "The Awakening of Women", edited by Beatrice Webb. Almost a century later, wirepullers of all parties are still dreading what women are about to do with their vote. Despite weeks of debate in the media, women are the great unknown quantity of the election. So, in this special issue, we've tried to find out why the "women's vote" is so elusive.

The survey we have done with Eve magazine (see page 18) gives a strong hint. "Getting women to tick your box doesn't necessarily mean concentrating on what you think of as 'female issues'," writes Sara Cremer, editor of Eve. …

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