Parties accused of ignoring women

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Most women believe they are ignored by the main political parties, according to a poll published yesterday. Almost seven out of 10 women feel the main parties do not pay sufficient attention to things that are important to them, even though they make up more than half the electorate and a significant proportion of the large floating vote.

The Equal Opportunities Commission wants parties to start taking notice of women's views and has drawn up a "National Agenda for Action" in an effort to influence their manifestos for the general election.

The NOP poll found that women in part-time employment and those who were widowed, divorced or separated were most unhappy. In the core voting group of 25- to 54-year-olds, 75 per cent said they did not feel women's issues were given enough attention.