On Monday 9th November I sponsored EDM 676 which recognises the great contribution of women to British national culture, and suggests that any or all of these women are worthy of inclusion on the new British Passport.
The EDM came to fruition after the UK Passport Office released the new design of the British Passport, which is designed to celebrate arts and culture over 500 years and acknowledges just two women in it. The two women being Elisabeth Scott, architect of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon and Ada Lovelace, the mathematician who worked with Babbage on the Analytical Engine.
The underrepresentation of women in the new UK passport is absolutely unacceptable. I can’t believe that in 2015 and in over 500 years of history, the UK passport office could only find two women worthy to include. I hope this EDM highlights how there are so many women throughout Britain’s past that are more than deserving to be included in the new passport.
The full EDM reads:
“That this House recognises the great contribution made by Hilda of Whitby, Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, the Brontë sisters, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Dorothy Hodgkin, Iris Murdoch, Barbara Hepworth, Elisabeth Frink, Bridget Riley, Zandra Rhodes, Vivienne Westwood, Margery Kemp, Marie Stopes, Meera Syal, Aphra Behn, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Neil Gwynn, Christina Rossetti, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Virginia Woolf, Agatha Christie, Hilary Mantel, Ali Smith, Vera Brittain, Dame Judie Dench, Rebecca West, Dame Maggie Smith, Baroness Genista McIntosh, Octavia Hill, Julia Margaret Cameron, Margaret McDonald, Margot Fonteyn, Mary Kingsley, Lilian Baylis, Dame Joan Plowright, Elizabeth Blackwell, Jane Drew, Mary Somerville, Vita Sackville West, Katherine Mansfield, Nancy Aster, Mary Seacole, Rosalind Franklin, Zaha Hadid, Carol Ann Duffy, Gwen John and Amy Johnson to our national culture; and suggests that any or all of these are worthy of inclusion on the new British passport.”