Boris Johnson needs to appoint more women to the cabinet after “glaring omissions” were made in areas affecting women during the first lockdown, the former Tory minister Caroline Nokes has said.
“The glaring omission when we went into the first lockdown this time last year was about women and childcare,” Nokes, chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, has told Parliamentary Radio for International Women’s Day on Monday.
“Formal childcare settings were shut and informal childcare, granny and grandpa looking after children, was banned. For many women it was not possible to work from home.
“We need government ministers in the cabinet to look at things through a lens that includes women. We are 51% of the electorate – we cannot be forgotten. We don’t have enough women in the cabinet who are shouting out and standing up for women.”
The backbencher, who has previously accused Boris Johnson’s administration of having a “very blokey mentality” wants a “gender-balanced cabinet”. The former immigration minister has become an outspoken advocate for the beauty sector in recent months
She criticised the decision last year to delay nail bars being allowed to reopen following the easing of the first lockdown. Nokes told Parliament Radio: “Beauty is not trivial – it is about wellbeing.
“My hairdresser and manicurist act as my therapist when I sit in their chair, they perform a crucial role in society.
“It employees over 300,000 people, mostly women. I am passionate about the sector and have made friends and allies in it over the past 12 months.”
With the Press Association
Read More: ‘Glaring omissions’ during Covid show cabinet needs more women, says MP | International Women’s Day