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We need more women in Parliament

Home / News & Views / Siobhain's views / We need more women in Parliament

14 March 2016

labour women We have more women in Parliament than ever before - but there's still so much more to do.

Since 1918, just 450 women have been elected as MPs. This means that the total number of women to have been elected to the House since 1918 is lower than the number of men (459) presently elected to Parliament. Of these total 450 women MPs, 258 (57%) have been Labour MPs and 132 (29%) Conservative.

I was joint 169th woman elected to Parliament (shared with 101 other women elected in 1997 – a record number).

In 2015, 
191 women MPs were elected - that's 29% of all MPs, a record high. 

99 of these are Labour (52% of the total number of women MPs), 68 are Conservatives (37% of the total), 20 are from the Scottish National Party (10% of the total), one from the Green
Party, and none from the Liberal Democrats.

This means that 
43% of Labour MPs are women, 21% of Conservative MPs and 36% of SNP MPs are women.

In the 2015 election, 34% of Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs), 26% of Conservative PPCs, 26% of Liberal Democrat PPCs, 38% of Green and SNP PPCs and just 13% of UKIP PPCs were women.

But across politics, women's representation is still behind the times. 

Currently, 7 out of 22 Cabinet Posts (32%) are held by women.

Women make up 25% of the House of Lords, that's 191 Members.

In 2013, 32% of local authority councillors in England were women.

And they make up 53% of the civil service workforce - but only 19% of permanent secretaries, the most senior civil service

Shockingly, the Inter-Parliamentary Union ranks the UK 36th out of all 190 countries for the representation of women parliamentarians, well behind Bolivia, Cuba, Germany, Sudan, Spain, and Rwanda, which has the highest percentage of women parliamentarians. 

We can and must do more to ensure that 50% of our population are fully and properly represented in politics.

You can read Siobhain's speech on women's equality here