In the UK general elections, a record number of women were elected as the members of the British Parliament on December 13. Even though the women's rights campaigners applauded the results of snap elections, they believe that the progress towards the equal representation of all genders must speed up. After the latest polling, the women have acquired 220 seats in the 650-seat lower house as compared to 208 in the previous elections.
After the historic Conservative win since the 1990s, Sam Smethers, the chief executive of women's rights group the Fawcett Society said that there are now more women MP's, however, they are inching for an increase of 32 per cent representation to 34 per cent. She further said that instead of congratulating for 'extremely slow progress', the political parties must commit to take action and make the step change that is required. Smethers said that 'it is time for equal power'. According to a survey by parliament's Women and Equalities Committee conducted in November, the violence and online abuse against women have impacted the decision of nearly two-thirds of female MP's to stand in the re-election.
Several women lawmakers chose not to stand in the elections after citing the level of abuse they had experienced in the role as the main factor. The main rise in the female representation in the Parliament came from the boost in the ruling Conservative party even though only a quarter of its seats are occupied by women candidates. On the other hand, both the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats have nearly 50-50 gender balance.
Gender breakdown on the parli website @profsarahchilds. Lab and Lib Dems now have over 50% women. Silver lining of sorts for them... but not sure they will be looking on the bright side just yet @fawcettsociety. @5050Parliament pic.twitter.com/mHAc0eYu9A— Sam Smethers (@Samsmethers) December 13, 2019