Men outnumber women 2:1 in the House of Commons. Of the 650 seats, men sit in 459 (71%) and women only 191 (29%). During the election 102 constituencies had no women standing. We are petitioning for a debate and action around this under-representation. We would like party leaders from across the political spectrum to make a proper plan for better gender balance in Parliament, one way or another. Changing the status quo is vital because representation shapes policy and policy affects women. The 32 million UK women are 51% of the population, they are the diverse majority. They have 51% of the experience and expertise. Our vision is a Parliament where men and women legislate the laws of our land together in roughly equal numbers. The effects would ripple out across society.
It is a historic problem. Inspite of women having the vote since 1918 there have only ever been around 450 women MPs. This is fewer than the number of men with seats in Parliament right now. A record that Jon Snow, TV presenter for Channel 4 News, recently described as “shameful”.
We know that things are changing, but on the basis of the last four elections it could take nearly half a century to get parity. That's too long to wait, we would like gender equality of representation in our lifetime.
Forty countries have proportionally more women in their parliaments than the UK. This shows that it can be done. We only need 134 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! What is the plan? 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
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.