20 women tell us why they don’t trust politicians (and what could win them back)

Do you know who you’ll be voting for in the general election? Though it feels like the chance to vote in a new government has been a long time coming, there’s a big lack of faith in the political options we’re able to choose from. So much so that a new study conducted by Stylist to assess how women feel about politics found that less than 1% of our readers trust our current political parties.

While the figure is alarming, it’s not surprising at all. Of the women we spoke to ahead of this week’s Stylist+ cover story, the prevailing sentiment was clear: after years of lies, scandal and disregard for the issues that matter to women, it’s incredibly difficult to muster confidence in our political leaders.

In truth, this only makes the 51% of the vote that women account for even more crucial – and valuable – to those running for office. Nevertheless, 59.7% of women lack confidence in the current political parties’ ability to effectively lead and address concerns.

Meera Sabaratnam, associate professor of international relations at the University of Oxford and fellow in politics at New College, explains that “women have borne the brunt of austerity for a decade and a half now, the cost of living has gone up and the conditions of young people and children have gotten much worse, both in physical and mental health terms. And no one’s talking about this at all.”

It’s going to take a lot to turn this around in the short time we have before the general election on 4 July. But we do know that “accountability for wrongdoing”, “politicians prioritising public interests over personal gain” and “more severe consequences for MPs who break laws or have been proven to have lied” would make more than 74.5% of women more likely to trust politicians.

Commitment to tackling outrageous childcare costs and long-term action to improve the devastating state of maternal healthcare, too, would go a long way. Not to mention how urgently we need to tackle the sinister impact of misogyny and its prevalent threat to women’s safety. No doubt like many of you, I don’t know how I’ll be voting next month, but a politician willing to address the urgency of these concerns would at least earn my attention.

Jazmin Kopotsha
Executive editor, Stylist 

This week I’m…

Bracing for more weddings: my summer is absolutely packed this year but I’ve been smart and found a versatile, satin grab-bag that will see me through them all. John Lewis, £28

Pre-ordering Sharmadean Reid’s new book: the entrepreneur and Stack World founder’s New Methods for Women promises expert advice on life, work and finding true empowerment that I can’t wait to read., £18.99 

Secret tactics and epic fallouts: how picking bridesmaids got so complicated

With ever-rising expenses and Instagram bragging to keep up with, picking (and being) a bridesmaid is a trickier task than ever before. “Being chosen as a member of a close friend’s bridal party should be the greatest honour,” writes Clara Strunck, “but in recent years, the role of bridesmaid has started to feel more like a poisoned chalice – a social battleground littered with minefields, whichever side of the arrangement you’re on.”

From unpicking the tactics brides have used to select their bridal party to the overwhelm women have faced when navigating controversial friendships, Stylist lifts the lid on what goes on behind the scenes in the build-up to the big day. 

Find out more

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