UK Parliament Week 2018 begins with more than 7000 events taking place

A Lego Suffragette stands proudly by the despatch box in the House of Commons Chamber
12 November 2018

Today sees the launch of the UK Parliament Week, a UK-wide festival taking place from 12-18 November, which seeks to engage people - especially young people from different backgrounds and communities - with the UK Parliament and empower them to get involved.

This year the festival is more significant than ever, as it forms part of the UK Parliament’s Vote 100 programme. Parliament Week is marking Vote 100 by launching the #nameoursister campaign, which invites people across the country to suggest a name for our specially commissioned Lego Suffragette. 

She will be used in the UK Parliament Education Centre, and loaned across the UK to schools, museums and organisations, to teach generations to come about the fight for equal voting rights.

A record high of 32% women MPs were elected to the House of Commons in 2017’s General Election. There is further to go in encouraging diversity, and as the Cox Report has shown in, creating a more inclusive workplace for everyone.

What can we expect from UK Parliament Week 2018?

The UK Parliament continues to invite people of all backgrounds to have a say in their democracy. In 2017, UK Parliament Week reached more than 360,000 people, with over 4,500 events.

This year’s UK Parliament Week festival is the largest ever and will see more than 7,000 registered events with over 500,000 people taking part. Participating organisations include Scouts, Girlguiding, and the British Youth Council.

What are people saying?

A spokesperson for Girlguiding’s Advocate panel, a group of Girlguiding young members aged 14-25 who lead the direction of the organisation’s research and campaigns, said:

“Parliament Week is a way of reaching out beyond Westminster and giving more people a chance to get involved in democracy.

"Girlguiding members across the country have been celebrating Parliament Week by marking one of the most important centenaries in British democratic history – the year that some women first got the vote. We think it’s a fantastic opportunity that enables girls and young women like us to participate in creating the world they want to see in the future.”

Andrea Leadsom, Leader of the House of Commons, said:

"As we celebrate Vote 100 year, Parliament Week is an excellent opportunity to draw attention to the work we must do to achieve the thriving parliamentary democracy the UK needs. It allows us to shine a light on how our democracy works, how campaigning for change can make a real difference, and how more people can take part in politics."

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park, Leader of the House of Lords,  said:

“During Parliament Week people from all over the country learn, explore and promote our Parliamentary Democracy – and what better time to celebrate than in the year of the 100th anniversary of women having the vote, and the 60th anniversary of women and men from all walks of life being appointed to the House of Lords.

“This week is an opportunity to reflect not only on the great progress that has been made, but to look forward and commit to making Parliament a more inclusive and equal place for all.”

Further Information

For more information and to find out how you can get involved with an event near you, visit the UK Parliament Week website.

As part of UK Parliament Week the Youth Select Committee will be launching their report investigating barriers to work experience on Wednesday 14 November. The report will be available to download after the launch on the British Youth Council website.

You can follow and join in with the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag UKPW18.

More news on: Parliament, government and politics, Parliament, Lords outreach, Parliamentary Outreach

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