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Parliament Week 2013: Women in Democracy

This week is Parliament Week and the theme is Women in Democracy, exploring how women’s voices can be better heard. 

A poll revealing the public’s views of women in politics released on the eve of Parliament Week, 15-21 November 2013 shows that:

  • 37% thought women being given equal voting rights to men as the most important moment for women in UK democracy
  • Over a third of UK men feel there are enough women in Parliament… but only 13% of women agree

The survey identified the Equal Franchise Act of 1928, which gave women equal voting rights to men, as the most significant moment for women in UK democracy.

The survey was conducted by Census Wide especially for Parliament Week.

Emily Unell, Parliament Week Project Manager, said: “Parliament Week inspires and engages people with Parliament and democracy, and helps to inform them about how they can make their voice heard.  This year there’s a special focus on the role of women in Parliament and democracy and the survey highlights that more needs to be done to engage women in the nation’s politics.

The great thing about Parliament Week is the diverse range of activities on offer; there really is something for everyone. I hope that people across the country make the most of Parliament Week and find out what’s going on in their area.”

Partners including charities, youth groups, schools and museums are hosting activities across the UK.  There’s also a range of activities online, with ‘Create the Debate’ resources  for schools and the #ActNowChallenge, a social media initiative encouraging people to get involved in Parliament Week, find out about women in democracy and tweet about their actions using the #ActNowChallenge hashtag.

In Wales we have a record of extremes.

Between 1918 and 2013, only 13 women have been elected as MPs compared to 258 men. That’s just 5%. However, in the Welsh Assembly Government’s elections in 2003, 50% of the Assembly Members elected were women.

A Charter for Women has been launched by Welsh Labour to highlight the issue and to encourage more women to stand for elected roles at every level.

In Cardiff, Chwarae Teg are holding an event on Friday 22nd November 2013 from 2pm to 4pm called “More Women Need to Get Engaged” at the Pierhead, Cardiff Bay CF99 1NA, sponsored by the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales, Rosemary Butler AM. For more information contact helen.reed@chwaraeteg.com

 Parliament Week 

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