Please debate the 77:23 gender balance in the House of Commons. We would like a more modern, balanced Parliament of around 50:50 men and women, like life. How will it happen?  #5050Parliament.
  • Petitioning Mr. Cameron, Mr. Clegg and Mr. Miliband

This petition will be delivered to:

Mr. Cameron, Mr. Clegg and Mr. Miliband

Please debate the 77:23 gender balance in the House of Commons. We would like a more modern, balanced Parliament of around 50:50 men and women, like life. How will it happen? #5050Parliament.

    1. Frances Scott
    2. Petition by

      Frances Scott

      London, United Kingdom

Parliament is predominantly male. It is made up of 503 men and 147 women, 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. 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, 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 AN APOLITICAL ASPIRATION! IT NEEDS DEBATE. AGREE?

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.

Some Quotes:

“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 women MPs ie. about 1 in 100,000. Other countries have shown that it can be done, the UK ranks 74th.

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. 

Thank you!

Frances Scott

#5050Parliament

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.

References:

http://www.ukpolitical.info/FemaleMPs.htm

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 

http://www.ukpolitical.info/FemaleMPs.htm

To:
Mr. Cameron, Mr. Clegg and Mr. Miliband
Dear Mr.Cameron, Mr.Clegg and Mr. Miliband, We need a more balanced House of Commons, around 50:50 Men and Women. Please collaborate and do something: debate and take action to make Parliament more balanced, like life.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. 50:50 Parliament quoted in the Guardian Newspaper

      Frances Scott
      Petition Organizer

      " Frances Scott, of the 50:50 campaign for an equal gender balance in parliament, said: "Like many of the Daily Mail readers we like fashion, but this was an example of newspaper reporting trivialising women. A comment on an MP's dress should not exclude or preclude some serious comment about these amazing and accomplished women's abilities, expertise, experience and politics. This is more important information given their new appointments.""

      See http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/jul/16/daily-mail-downing-street-catwalk-female-ministers-outrage

    2. Reached 2,500 signatures
    3. 50:50 Invited to APPG Women in Parliament - Improving Parliament!

      Frances Scott
      Petition Organizer

      Last Monday we went to the All Party Parliamentary Group Women in Parliament launch of their report "Improving Parliament". Great report and fantastic to meet so many people interested in making a difference!

    4. Oxford University President and VP in the 50:50 T-shirt. Thanks!

      Frances Scott
      Petition Organizer

      Major thanks to Tom Rutland and Sara Pine, President and VP of Oxford University Student Union having a photo in our 50:50 tee to demo support. We wish them all the best for the future, keep in touch! See:

      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=654060818009933&set=a.590909254325090.1073741830.545350858880930&type=1&theater

      Also another great #5050Parliament article with clear reasons why it's necessary by Ruby Lott-Lavigna on 'thefword' blog. Thanks Ruby and 'thefword' for the opportunity! See:

      http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2014/06/when_people_per

    5. Bristol University Basketball Team Wear the 50:50 T-shirt! :))

      Frances Scott
      Petition Organizer
    6. Ben Bradshaw first MP in 50:50 Parliament t-shirt

      Frances Scott
      Petition Organizer

      Massive thanks to Ben Bradshaw, the first MP to wear the 50:50 Parliament T-shirt at the Exeter Respect Festival on the Fawcett Devon stand. Thanks both Ben and Fawcett! See loads of photos from the Festival at facebook.com/5050parliament.

      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=641992532550095&set=a.590909254325090.1073741830.545350858880930&type=1&theater

      Also, Frances from 50:50 Parliament was on the radio, explaining the campaign to Hughie at Chat City, Preston FM. Listen to the link at http://youtu.be/5Zm5E14PQss

      And 50:50 Parliament was in The National Student, an article written by Katherine Hockley. Read on line at http://www.thenationalstudent.com/Features/2014-06-03/The_50_50_Parliament_Campaign.html

    7. Reached 2,000 signatures
    8. Jenni Murray shows support for 50:50 Parliament

      Frances Scott
      Petition Organizer

      Jenni Murray, presenter of Radio 4's Woman's Hour and President of the Fawcett Society shows her support for our petition. How fantastic is that! see photo https://www.facebook.com/5050Parliament/photos/pb.545350858880930.-2207520000.1406277913./602463476503001/?type=1&theater

    9. Reached 1,000 signatures
    10. 8 March - International Women's Day

      Frances Scott
      Petition Organizer

      Ruby Wax shows support for 50:50 Parliament. So does Lucy-Anne Holmes of the No More Page Three and Dr.Helen Pankhurst. Please take a look at www.facebook.com/5050parliament to see all the photos. It would be very kind of you to like our page! It would really help.

    11. Reached 750 signatures
    12. Rosamund Urwin's Article : London Evening Standard

      Frances Scott
      Petition Organizer

      Rosamund Urwin "The lack of women in Parliament isn’t just a national embarrassment: it should be a national emergency."

      "A sexist stench still pervades politics. Women MPs face the same pressures as the men, just with added sniping and minus the chumocracy that gets you promoted. Politics isn’t a meritocracy. The corridors of power are like one long Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson bromance: full of male buddy-buddying and back-slapping. And as we saw with the execrable handling of the Lord Rennard allegations, men can close ranks to silence women’s complaints.

      Miliband was right yesterday: representation does matter. A House of Commons where only 22 per cent of MPs are women is one where female voices are inevitably sidelined."

      Rosamund Urwin: A sexist stench still pervades British politics

      Ed Miliband, forgetting floods in favour of feminism, had packed his bench with female MPs. Though it neatly highlighted David Cameron's "women problem", there was something gimmicky about the stunt and the debate that ensued. Here were two men using women's issues to score points against one another.

    13. Reached 500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • John Robinson BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 hour ago

      How can we have representative democracy in a Parliament which does not contain a representative cross-section of society? It's so obviously wrong that it must be reformed.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • stephanie murphy NOTTINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 6 hours ago

      Because I'm a woman, for women and will perhaps give birth to a woman. I want my future daughters to be able to express their compassion and empathy in a professional manner instead of toward serving her husband and patriarchs.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Vanessa Boon DERBY, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 10 hours ago

      Law makers must understand and represent the lives of women and girls - women must be visible & vocal in the political process - the whole country can't fully move forward when half of us are held back

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Catherine Wyard DATCHET, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 22 hours ago

      See Emma Watson's speech for the UN! How on earth can we be role models to other countries, to make fair decisions, if the very core of the decision making process is not fair.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Graham Galliford STAINES, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 1 day ago

      In the name of 'fairness' and in the hope that we might get better government.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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