Women 'juries' to vet policies

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The Independent Online
Twelve-strong women's "juries" are to be asked to give their verdict on new Government policies, Harriet Harman, the Minister for Women, said yesterday. The juries are to be selected at random from electoral registers, put up at hotels and have expenses paid for the job of judging the impact of policy on women.

The announcement was made by Ms Harman yesterday as the new Cabinet Committee for Women met for the first time. Ms Harman, who serves in Cabinet as Secretary of State for Social Security, told MPs: "Many women in this country see no reflection of their views in the House of Commons. This new Government will put that right."

The idea of the all-women juries is an extension of the recent proposal that "People's Panel" focus groups should be created to test the reaction of the public to overall Government policy.

"This Government is very clear where it stands," Ms Harman said. "It wants for women what women want for themselves - choice and opportunity, escape from poverty and dependency, childcare to support good parenting, family-friendly working and the chance to combine family life and paid employment on a fair and equal basis."