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Boris Johnson and Vladimir Putin banner.jpg
REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo
Boris Johnson and Vladimir Putin.jpg
REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo
UK News

‘It’s just a bit bizarre, but true’: Christian reaction to PM’s claim Putin wouldn’t invade Ukraine if he were a woman

by Tola Mbakwe

The executive director of the Lib Dem Christian Forum has backed Mr Boris Johnson’s assertion that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not have invaded Ukraine if he were a woman.

The UK prime minister added that the "crazy, macho" invasion was a "perfect example of toxic masculinity" and he urged for "more women in positions of power".

His comments on Wednesday came ahead of a NATO meeting where allies will discuss how to respond to future threats.

Lizzie Jewkes, director of the Lib Dem Christian Forum, told Premier she surprisingly agrees with Mr Johnson’s comments.

“It's just completely bizarre. I mean, on one side, I am just bemused to find myself agreeing with Boris Johnson, which I have to say, I'm not sure it's ever happened before.  But he's actually possibly right as well.

“But what I want to know is what has he ever done to encourage more women into politics? Because last year, we had the problem with Stella Creasy, wanted to go maternity leave. And she found she wanted to hire a locum. And she was told that's not possible.”

 There are currently 225 female MPs in the House of Commons. At 35 per cent, it makes it an all-time high. The proportion of women grew slowly until a jump in 1997.

However, the UK government has said although their proportion has increased, “in most cases men remain overrepresented, especially in more senior positions”.

Jewkes said the government cannot be passive about getting more women in power.

 “We can either wait hundreds of years and hope that it will happen, which is the situation we’re mainly in or we can actually do something that positively encourages women to stand for Parliament, that helps them, that makes Parliament not set the crazy hours it does, that produces a working environment that is possible for women to bring up their families. And let's face it, we have men leave Parliament, because they're fed up with never seeing their children.”

In February 2022, there were ten women serving as Head of State and 14 serving as Head of Government.

At 35 per cent, the UK is in 45th position for the proportion of women in the lower (or only) house of parliament as of this February. 

Meanwhile, Rwanda has over 61 per cent. Cuba and Nicaragua also have a female majority in parliament. 41 per cent of MEPs elected at the 2019 European Parliament elections were women. However, after the seat changes due to Brexit, 40 per cent of MEPs were female as of February 2020.

Jewkes said there are many benefits that women can bring in political leadership.

“The biggest one is that we wouldn't start a war. We will talk about it, we would just negotiate. I’ve got four children, and believe me, I'm a good negotiator. Anybody who's… negotiated on behalf of anybody would be absolutely flipping amazing in Parliament, because this is what we're used to. We’re used to not steamrollering and over people. We're used to listening and talking and finding a solution that suits most people. And that is, I think one of the great strengths of the women I know.”

Since 1918, 559 women have been elected to the House of Commons; 55 per cent were first elected as Labour MPs and 31 per cent as Conservatives.

There are 229 female Members of the House of Lords, making up 28 per cent.

Six ministers in the current Cabinet (27 per cent) are women. The highest proportion of women in Cabinet was 36 per cent between 2006 and 2007.

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