The 50:50 Campaign: What comes next for women in politics?
6th February 2018
by Kirstie Summers
A full century after women were first granted the right to vote, the UK is still being made to suffer a massive imbalance in the political sphere.
Although every election in recent history has broken records in terms of women in government, Westminster is still significantly skewed. Only three out of every ten Members of Parliament are women, while women make up over half of the general population.
The 2017 election saw a total of 208 female MPs appointed. This is an improvement on the 191 elected in 2015, but still does not offer accurate representation to the 32 million women living in the UK. Men in parliament outnumber women by almost three to one.
This means that the issues that directly impact the everyday lives of women are less likely to be brought up and discussed in parliament, let alone dealt with effectively. It means that women’s voices are less likely to be heard or taken seriously.
Twelve women were elected to parliament between 2017 and 2015. At this rate, it will be fifty years before women are represented equally in government. Studies have shown that women are half as likely as men to consider a career in politics thanks to the lack of female political role models.
50:50 Parliament was founded in 2013 by Frances Scott to generate a movement that would challenge and change this.
The campaign encourages both women and men to fight for fair representation and supports women aiming to get involved in politics. Since the petition was first launched, over 52,000 people have signed calling for a balanced parliament that accurately reflects contemporary society.
Regardless of party affiliation, 50:50 Parliament believes that equal representation of women in government would improve the experience of women in the UK.
In November 2016, the #AskHerToStand campaign was launched in time to encourage women to pursue seats in parliament in the 2017 election. The organisation plans to continue this campaign until 50% of MPs are women.
“One hundred years after some women won the right to vote the fight for political equality is still on. We need more women at Westminster because representation shapes policy,” Founder Frances Scott explains, “Women should be equally involved in running the country and planning our future. 50:50 have a clear aim and are taking action to inspire, encourage and support women along the pathway to Parliament with our #AskHerToStand campaign. So, if you know a woman who would make a good MP, and there are plenty out there, then ask her to stand via www.5050Parliament.co.uk and let us help her get elected.”
50:50 Parliament provides women with political aspirations with a simple six step guide to becoming an MP and offers them support along every step of the way.