COMMONS

Barriers to the representation of women in Parliament examined

21 November 2018

The Women and Equalities Committee follows up on its work on Women in the House of Commons.

Previous work

Its report, published in January 2017, called on political parties to publicly set out the measures they planned to take to increase the proportion and number of women parliamentary candidates.

The report also looked at the potential effect on female representation of the proposed reduction in Commons seats at the 2020 election.

The Government’s response, published in September 2017, rejected all six of the above recommendations, with Committee Chair Maria Miller MP saying it showed “a complete lack of action and ambition to bring about real change”.

32% of MPs are women

The 2017 General Election returned the highest number and proportion of female MPs ever recorded: 208 out of 650, or 32% - one woman for every two men in the House of Commons.

This is an increase of only two percentage points from the 30% female MPs before the election.

Purpose of the session

The session follows up on the Committee’s previous work and will examine:

  • The barriers to the representation of more women in Parliament
  • The support given to women who aspire to become MPs
  • The experience of women in Parliament, through the lenses of former MPs.

Witnesses

Wednesday 21 November 2018, Committee Room 6, Portcullis House.

At 09.50am:

  • Professor Sarah Childs, Birkbeck University
  • Isabel Hardman, Assistant Editor, The Spectator   
  • Baroness Anne Jenkin of Kennington, Women2Win 
  • Nan Sloane, Labour Women’s Network
  • Sam Smethers, Chief Executive, The Fawcett Society.

At approximately 10.40am:

  • Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh OBE, former SNP MP
  • Flick Drummond, former Conservative MP
  • Rt Hon Jenny Willott OBE, former Liberal Democrat MP
  • Gemma Doyle, former Labour MP

Further information

Image: Parliamentary Copyright

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