'Statesman' has sex change for a week

Click to follow

More than 90 years after the New Statesman broke the mould of political journalism by handing control of its pages to women writers, the journal is to repeat the exercise and re-name itself New Stateswoman, for just this week.

The gesture is designed to reflect the unprecedented level of interest from the main political parties in the voting intentions of women in the forthcoming election.

The change recalls a 1913 edition of the magazine described as "A special supplement on the awakening of women" which was edited by "Mrs Sidney" (Beatrice) Webb, the social reformer. The Webbs were co-founders of the New Statesman.

That edition included "Militancy" by Christabel Pankhurst and "The Arrested Development of Women" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

The New Stateswoman was the suggestion of Sue Matthias, the magazine's deputy editor. It will feature articles from writers including Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Zoe Williams, Mary Riddell, Tina Weaver, Linda Grant and Amanda Platell. High-profile male writers have been given the week off.

Ms Matthias said: "We are not trying to recreate the early days of Spare Rib; it is not a male-free zone. But the question of the women's vote is as crucial now as it was in 1913 and we will be examining the issues that affect women's lives. It is the theme of the election."

The issue, out on Thursday, will include a survey which found that the NHS and education were the issues that mattered most to women voters.