A few facts: Parliament is predominantly male. There are 503 men and 147 women MPs. 77% of MPs are men. There have only ever been 369 women MPs. The House of Commons, where all the laws are made, still doesn't properly represent 52% of the population, the 32 million majority that are women. It lacks women’s experience and expertise. On the basis of the last 3 elections it will take over 100 years for Parliament to become more balanced.
We would like the country to benefit from the best of both, men and women, one way or another, sooner rather than later. So,we are asking Party leaders to debate and decide how to achieve more gender balance in the House of Commons.
50:50 Parliament is a cross party campaign and petition. An Aspiration!
IT NEEDS DEBATE. PLEASE AGREE AND SIGN!
Women are the majority stakeholders in society but have a minority say in forging its future. Some people say “Keep calm and carry on” and others, like the Director of Hansard, say that constitutional change is required. Solutions that have been suggested include: improving Parliament, active recruitment, 50:50 shortlists, all women shortlists, quotas, twinning constituencies, job-shares, 2 member constituencies. There may be others. Parliament needs to decide how to solve this historic problem. If you agree, even just a little bit, that this issue requires debate then please sign the petition. When there are enough signatures the short letter below will be sent to the main Party Leaders. Every signature counts and the ripple effect of Emails, Facebook and Twitter is enormous. Thank you.
Vince Cable the Business Secretary wants more women involved in business. Like him, we suggest that more women should be involved in Parliament. The Fawcett society supports this as well as Dr Helen Pankhurst and many others. See loads of photos off supporters campaigning on our facebook page. The reasons people have given on the petition for wanting this change are moving.
“Apart from the obvious injustice we are in no position to underutilise so much talent.” Helen Kirwan. Women have a wealth of relevant experience, in paid and unpaid work, and account for 60% of Law graduates in the UK.
"The life experience of women is bound to be different to that of men, not superior or inferior but different, and that needs to be represented in Parliament." Prof Vernon Bogdanor, Oxford University.
“We know that when women are in parliament…it builds more resilient, responsive, better informed institutions.” The evidence is overwhelming, Prof Ngaire Woods, Oxford University.
Party Leaders Agree:
David Cameron, the Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative party, referring to the small number of women in the House of Commons has stated "We need to do more, much more" and “This is fantastically important.” Labour leader Ed Miliband said "A picture tells a 1000 words" and “The reason representation matters is because it shapes the policies.” And Nick Clegg leader of the Liberal Democrats "It's almost 100 years since the first woman was elected to Parliament, yet still less than a quarter of our MPs are women. This has to change."
Great words but what is the plan?
I would like a modern, balanced Parliament, of around 50:50 men and women, preferably within my lifetime, say after the next 3 elections, ie. by 2025. This is not an impossible dream. Only 178 more women are needed from a population of 32 million to give a total of 325 female MPs ie. about 1 in 100,000. Other countries have shown that it can be done, the UK ranks 74th. With only 23% of our MPs being women the UK ranks just below Sudan.
Westminster should be a world leader.
Please make a difference and sign the petition now! It takes 2 minutes and costs nothing. Every signature is significant contribution. We need signatures to show that people care and then Parliament will debate this important issue.
If you feel inspired to do more about this crucial issue right now then:
Press the red 'Promote Petition' key and sponsor an ad. Then the petition will be circulated more widely by Change.org and get even more signatures, straight away. Thanks!
Please "Like" facebook.com/5050Parliament and Follow Twitter@5050Parliament
Please take a look at www.5050Parliament.co.uk - for information & to comment.
Also, please see the Fawcett Society’s website – the UK’s leading organisation working to advance women’s rights in the UK – for more information on women’s representation, and other issues. Better yet, join Fawcett, to support their work to increase the number of women MPs.
UK is 74th in the percentage of women in national parliaments, some countries are ranked together so UK shown as ranking 64th but in fact 73 countries have proportionally more women in parliament so UK is 74th http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm