Did you know 77 % of MPs are men?
Just before Christmas I met with Frances Scott of #5050ParliamentPetition.
With 5,000 supporters and counting the petition aims to ask Mr Cameron, Mr Clegg and Mr Milliband to debate and make a plan for better gender balance in Parliament – to have men and women forging our future together in roughly equal numbers.
I don’t believe women should be in Parliament just to even out the numbers but I do believe a more gender balanced and diverse group of people would produce more balanced, thoughtful rules and regulations that govern and affect our country and the men and women they are representing and affecting.
We need to look at why women are not progressing in Parliament, whether there are policies or processes which are actively discriminating against women or whether it is more of a subtle cultural bias which is making it more difficult than it needs be for women to enter Parliament and carve out a sustainable career.
“Right now there are only 148 women MPs in the House of Commons – that’s just 23% of the total. We would like party leaders from across the political spectrum to make a proper plan to address this under-representation. Changing the status quo is vital because representation shapes policy and policy affects women. Women are 51% of the population. We would like men and women, the best of both, in roughly equal numbers, forging legislation for the future, together.
Like to know more? Join the upcoming meeting to plan and launch the 50:50 campaign for 2015.
It is happening on Thursday 14 Jan 6.30-8.30 at the Feminist Library, London.
Please book a place (free) through Eventbrite here:
Since 1918 there have only been 370 women MPs. Currently 502 men have seats in the House of Commons, so there are more men at Westminster right now than have ever been women.
During the last three elections, on average, only 8 extra women gained seats each time. At this rate it will take over 100 years to get parity. That’s too long to wait.
Seventy three countries have proportionally more women in their parliaments than the UK, this shows that it can be done. We only need 177 more female MPs from a population of 32 million women.
It has been said “Women are the world’s most underused resource,” and “When women participate in politics, the effects ripple out across society.”
Please join us in asking party leaders to debate and take action to change the gender balance in Parliament from 77:23 men:women to around 50:50, like life.
Nearly 100 years after women gained the right to vote let’s aspire to a better gender balance in the House of Commons, one way or another, sooner rather than later.
Please sign, together we can make a difference.
Please take a look at www.5050Parliament.co.uk – for information and to comment.