Commenting in response to the Prime Minister’s comment that a female MP should ‘calm down dear’, Anna Bird, Acting Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society said:

“There are four times as many men as women in the House of Commons. Those women that have made it into Parliament must fight an uphill battle to ensure their views are taken seriously, and face a culture of sexist jeering and dismissive comments – not just by other MPs but by the Prime Minister himself.

“Key to stamping out this outdated and sexist culture is getting more women round the table. Despite his pledges prior to the election, the Prime Minister runs the country with a Cabinet where just 4 of the 23 Ministers are women.

“In the past year, the Government has launched what amounts to an attack on women’s jobs, employment rights and financial security. Massive cuts to the public sector workforce, reductions in public services more generally, and dramatic changes to the tax and welfare system could set equality on a backwards course.

“If the Prime Minister want us to believe he is serious about giving women an equal say in the running of the country – despite his comment today – he could start by setting out his plans to make good his pledge to deliver a more representative Cabinet this Parliament.”