There were only 148 women MPs in the House of Commons – that’s just 23% of the total, before Parliament was "dissolved" for this General Election. We are petitioning for a debate and action around this issue. We would like party leaders from across the political spectrum to make a proper plan for better gender balance, one way or another. Changing the status quo is vital because representation shapes policy and policy affects women. Women are 51% of the population, they are the diverse majority. They have 51% of the experience and expertise. We would like men and women, the best of both, in roughly equal numbers, forging legislation for the future together, building a better society for everyone.
We understand that this is a historic problem. 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 there have ever been women.
We know that things are changing. However, 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, we would like gender equality of representation in our lifetime.
Around seventy 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.
The All Party Parliamentary Group's report "Improving Parliament" published in July 2014 states: "All political parties are united in their belief that gender parity is critical to having a modern, aspirational and representative Parliament". Great words, now action is needed! As the old suffragette saying goes "Deeds not Words!"
Let's draw upon our diversity. Join us asking Parliament to sort this out. Nearly 100 years after women gained the right to vote let's aspire to a better, more gender balanced Parliament.
Please sign, together we can make a difference.
Frances, Sadaf and Nathalie
50:50 Parliament Team
Please take a look at www.5050Parliament.co.uk - for information and to comment.
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 gender balanced, like life.