Petitioning All Party Leaders and Parliament

There are 140% more men than women in the Commons. We want better gender balance!

Women are the majority in life but a minority in Parliament. 50:50 Parliament is a cross-party campaign calling for solutions to get more women into Westminster. This is what our letter says:

"All Party Leaders and Parliament,

We need a more gender 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."

Of the 650 seats in the Commons women hold 192 and men 458.

So men outnumber women by much more than 2:1. There are 266 (140%) more men than women. 

Today there are still more men in the Commons than there have ever been women MPs in the whole of history. 

The Lords has around 800 Peers, 600 men and 200 women. 

These statistics indicate that the system has not been working for women. There is a democratic deficit. If Parliament is inaccessible to the majority that are women it is probably inaccessible to many others.

50:50 Parliament is calling upon all party leaders for solutions to this historic problem. They have the power to sort it out. 

The UN Declaration of Human Rights signed in 1948 affirmed "the equal rights of men and women". If you agree that we need better gender balance in Parliament then say so and sign this petition.

50:50 Parliament are also running an Ambassador Programme to inspire interest and engagement with politics join here : www.5050Parliament.co.uk

We want to see men and women running the country and planning our future, together, in more equal numbers. We would like Parliament to be as accessible to women as it is to men. 

“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.” Professor Vernon Bogdanor, Oxford University. 

Why does it matter?

  1. Women have a huge range of experience and skills. Parliament should draw upon the widest possible pool of talent, including the 32 million UK women. We want Parliament to include the best of both, men and women. “We know that when women are in parliament…it builds more resilient, responsive, better informed institutions.” Professor Ngaire Woods, Oxford University.

  2. Representation shapes policy and all policies affect women. Evidence from more balanced legislatures than ours shows that as membership of women increases, so does the sensitivity of male MPs to the range of women’s concerns. So men can act for women but they may be more likely to do so when there are more women around. Women need to be fully involved in formulating all policy: economic, education, health, welfare, security, defence, transport, environment, parenting etc.

  3. The lives of women and men are changing. They need to plan the future of society together, taking account of these changes. The UK Parliament should be leading the way.

  4. Good gender balance would be better for everyone.

50:50 is not specifying the actions required but would like Party Leaders and Parliament to find solutions. These might include:

  • improving Parliament, the culture and conditions,
  • better recruitment, retention and the introduction of returnership programmes,
  • action within the parties (eg. better recruitment, training, support, mentoring, funding, A lists, 50:50 shortlists, all-women shortists, job shares, etc), 
  • review of incumbency (as suggested by the Electoral Reform society),
  • or perhaps even constitutional change (see the Head of Hansard's article "Too Important to Leave to the Parties the Case for Constitutionalising Equal Representation")  

50:50 is an inclusive, cross party, non-partisan movement supported by people of all genders from across the UK. We are campaigning on behalf of everyone, including those from many minority groups who face discrimination on multiple levels. 

Only 133 women MPs are needed to get equality in the Commons; this is not a big ask from a population of 32 million women and would amount to total representation of 1 in 100,000.

Women make a massive contribution to society in paid and unpaid work. They merit fair inclusion.

If you agree that nearly 100 years after women gained the right to vote it's time they had more seats in Parliament please sign now.

Thankyou.

Frances, Sadaf, Brian, Tina, Charlie and Nathalie

50:50 Parliament Team

#5050ParliamentPetition  #5050Parliament  #PledgeForParity 

To become an Ambassador for the campaign fill in the form online: :http://www.5050parliament.co.uk/get-involved/

For info - www.5050Parliament.co.uk 

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This petition will be delivered to:
  • All Party Leaders and Parliament


    Frances Scott and the 50:50 Parliament Team started this petition with a single signature, and now has 49,988 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.