50:50 Parliament are marking the 150th anniversary of the first Suffrage petition presented to Parliament by calling for more females to be represented at Westminster.
On 7th June 1866, Millicent Fawcett, alongside female campaigners including Emily Wilding Davison and Elizabeth Garrett, presented a petition to the House of Commons calling for the female vote.
Women currently only account for 192 of MPs represented in the Houses of Commons compared to 458 men. Since 1918, when women were allowed to become Members of Parliament, there have only ever been around 450 female MPs. This means that there are more men in Parliament today than there has ever been female.
Writing for the Huffington Post, founder of the 50:50 Parliament Campaign, Frances Scott said, “One 7 June 1866 Millicent Fawcett presented the first Suffrage petition to Parliament. One hundred and fifty years later there are still 140% more men than women in the Houses of Commons. This is a historic injustice and a democratic deficit.”
“Why, in 2015, is the “Mother of Parliaments” still so full of men?”
50:50 Parliament was launched in November 2013 and aims to create gender equality within Westminster. Supported by the Fawcett Society, the campaign has received over 50,000 signatures. 50:50 is an ‘inclusive, cross party, non-partisan movement.
To find out more about the 50:50 Parliament campaign, click here.