Spend £200,000 on citizens’ panel, says Constable

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St Martin Constable Karen Shenton-Stone wants to develop a ‘meaningful dialogue on gender inequality’ and is asking the government to include £200,000 in its proposed Government Plan to set up an assembly to look at improving women’s safety.

According to her amendment, this group would collect views from Islanders and develop and propose changes in policy, strategy and culture in this area.

Mrs Shenton-Stone said her proposal had been lodged as a means ‘to allow the Island to challenge itself and identify new and innovative ways to go further on delivering support and safety for women’.

Her suggestion follows work done by the Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change, which produced a series of recommendations to help Jersey reduce its carbon emissions earlier this year. Mrs Shenton-Stone said that a citizens’ assembly would be the ‘opportune model’ for involving Islanders outside of election periods, and could help ‘develop new and potentially radical new ways to combat gender inequality in this Island’.

She cited a similar assembly on gender equality established in Ireland in 2019, which recommended bringing forward several proposals, including scrutinising pay inequalities, examining women and men’s co-responsibility for care, and challenging ‘attitudes that facilitate gender discrimination’.

Mrs Shenton-Stone said: ‘Such an assembly would give Islanders the opportunity to more closely examine the divisions within their everyday lives, and challenge and hopefully begin to dismantle structural barriers that continue to persist to this day.’

She continued: ‘Some Members may see the establishment of such an extensive piece of consultation and engagement as a waste of money and resources.

‘My challenge to them is to ask for a better way to drive forward public engagement on gender inequality and women’s safety, and ensure that real change can be delivered in the years to come.’

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