Best Coalition or Collaboration

Diverse5050 Campaign

The Diverse5050 campaign led to a commitment for legally binding gender quotas in the Welsh Senedd. Wales is the first UK nation to commit to quotas and joins 100 countries who use them to embed equality in their parliaments.

The Campaign

The #Diverse5050 campaign is a coalition campaign partnership led by WEN Wales, Race Council Cymru, EYST Wales and the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) Cymru. It aims to ensure Wales elects politicians that are gender balanced, with meaningful representation of people from Black, Asian & Ethnic Minority backgrounds, disabled people, LGBT+ people and people with other protected characteristics.

 The coalition has grown to over 35 organisations, representing around 19,000 people in total. Its member organisations range from Welsh Women’s Aid to housing associations, the Women’s Institute and many others.

 The campaign seeks to achieve equality and diversity through:

  1. Legally binding gender quotas as part of Senedd reform
  2. Diversity in candidate selection processes by all political parties
  3. Grassroots support for the campaign
awards

Diverse5050 Campaign – Winner, Gender Equality Champion/Initiative or Campaign of the Year at the first Wales Online Diversity & Inclusion Awards –13th July 2022 (Image taken by Mark Lewis)

We are delighted that the Diverse5050 Campaign has been shortlisted in the SMK Awards. It means so much to us and the coalition – it will strengthen our resilience and motivation to continue to push for the transformation of Wales’ political life to ensure that more women from diverse communities are able to stand for election and have their voices heard.”

awards

Diverse5050 Campaign – Winner, Gender Equality Champion/Initiative or Campaign of the Year at the first Wales Online Diversity & Inclusion Awards –13th July 2022 (Image taken by Mark Lewis)

“We are delighted that the Diverse5050 Campaign has been shortlisted in the SMK Awards. It means so much to us and the coalition – it will strengthen our resilience and motivation to continue to push for the transformation of Wales’ political life to ensure that more women from diverse communities are able to stand for election and have their voices heard.”

The Change

The first phase of the campaign aims to ensure equal and diverse representation for women in Wales’s political life.

Women – who make up 51% of the population in Wales – still do not have equality in terms of representation in politics. In over 20 years of devolution and 100 years since women got the vote, there has only been one woman of colour elected to the Senedd and in 2017, only 2% of councillors in Wales were non-white. There is also a lack of disabled women in the Senedd and in Local Government. This means crucial voices are missing from the decision-making table, which can lead to poorer outcomes in many policy areas.

The campaign succeeded in getting the Welsh Government to agree to legally binding gender quotas. This pioneering change to representation in Welsh democracy is the first commitment of this kind in UK’s Four Nations. The coalition continues to ensure democracy in Wales truly reflects society, and is now pushing to increase intersectional diversity of women in political life.

The Future

The future is a Wales where all political institutions fully reflect the diversity of the communities they serve – so they know there is still much to do!

Whilst the Senedd has agreed to legally binding gender quotas and increasing its size from 60 – 96 members, the work is not done until it has been implemented as legislation. The campaign will ensure the promised quotas make it into law and that political parties deliver strong diversity strategies so that they select more diverse candidates at the next Senedd elections in 2026 and the Local Elections in 2027.

The campaign will also continue to reach out to grassroots communities to encourage more women to get involved in politics, as in their upcoming event: We Belong Here day in the Senedd on 21 October 21 2023.

Who else was involved?

Besides WEN, the Steering Group includes the Electoral Reform Society Cymru, Race Council Cymru and Ethnic Youth Support Team. All are leaders in their field, have made a great impact on the campaign, and deserve a share in the credit as they have helped drive it, the supporting coalition of 30 organisations included.

Catherine Fookes, the Director of WEN Wales, and Evelyn James, the Campaign Manager both also deserve credit. Catherine for getting the project off the ground and securing the funding for it, and Evelyn for her amazing campaign leadership and relentless work in bringing women across Wales together to drive the change they want to see.