November 2021

Leadership for inclusion: What skills and qualities do parliamentarians need to be able to promote inclusive change?

Rebecca Gordon, Victoria Hasson

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What skills and qualities do parliamentarians need to be able to promote inclusive change? New research by Dr Victoria Hasson and Dr Rebecca Gordon funded through a partnership with DLP and Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) identified five key skills and three qualities which are utilised by parliamentarians to support legislation and policy which has explicitly recognised, measured and planned for the specific needs of, or impacts on, marginalised groups, and improves and/or secures the rights for these groups.

Strong democracies need legislation and policies which recognise, measure and plan for the specific needs of, and impacts on, all citizens. In particular for people who have been, and are minoritised and marginalised, legislation and policy are needed that improves and secures their rights. However, political leadership is essential for inclusive legislative change to be successfully realised. Research has demonstrated the structural barriers to progress for inclusive change at the institutional level (e.g., evidence, resources, etc). However, there has been less research on the skills and qualities that political leaders utilise to support inclusive legislative change, particularly at the parliamentary level. This report sets out to address this gap.

Through thirty-one interviews with parliamentarians and former parliamentarians and twenty supplementary interviews with civil society actors and academics who were involved in six case studies of successful inclusive legislation, this research identified five key skills and three qualities which are utilised by parliamentarians to support inclusive legislative change.

This report was published originally on the Westminster Foundation for Democracy(WFD) website. The report art and design is by WFD and Tom Morton.

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Leadership for inclusion: What skills and qualities do parliamentarians need to be able to promote inclusive change?

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