David Cameron gets in touch with his feminine side
- 21 November 2011
- From the section England
The Prime Minister has asked for help from the females in his party.
"There have been own goals on women's issues," confesses Baroness Anne Jenkin, the founder of Women2Win, a group that helped elect the latest intake of women MPs.
David Cameron has appealed to members of the Conservative Women's Forum to ensure government policy doesn't impact disproportionately on women around the country.
Without the slightest hint of satisfaction she adds: "We were all struck by the Prime Minister saying: 'I need your support and advice. Can you tell me if I'm going wrong?'"
So the word has gone out and parliamentary aides have been asked to look at how plans may play among the womenfolk.
"They will be encouraged to look at legislation - to make sure nothing slips under the radar," says Baroness Jenkin, who is married to Bernard Jenkin, the North Essex MP.
Whether the party is simply keen to shore up the women's vote or whether there is genuine concern at statistics showing more women have lost their jobs in the downturn, it knows it can count on support from its female ranks.
"I think that they have got some problems with some legislation. Inevitably women are going to be harder hit.
"In opposition no legislation was thought of without considering its effect on women first.
"Now we have 49 women MPs. They are very, very robust and they all network through things like the Women's Forum.
Baroness Jenkin believes that women's perspectives can help.
"A lot of it is in the language," she tells me.
"For example, instead of talking about toughing it out, women react better to messages like 'We don't want our children and grandchildren saddled with our debt.'"