Jenny Willott MP writes about women in Parliament for Wales Arts Review

November 29, 2013 12:32 PM

Jenny talking

Jenny Willott MP has written an article on women in Parliament for Wales Arts Review. The full piece can be read here. The piece was written to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Emily Wilding Davison, who was fatally injured by King George V's horse at the Epsom Derby on 4th June 1913 while campaigning for women's suffrage. Jenny talks about issues that face women today, with particular focus on the work place and Parliament.

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"Much of the problem is also an issue of perception amongst women themselves, which prevents them from putting themselves forward for senior roles. As we see more women taking up leadership roles in different areas I hope it will encourage other women to believe not only that they can achieve those positions, but also that they want to do so. Certainly, when it comes to politics, I meet many women who would make excellent parliamentary candidates but who would never stand because they believe that the life of an MP is incompatible with their family commitments. As more female (and, for that matter, male) MPs show that you can have a young family and still be a good MP, I hope that perceptions will start to change."

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"The sitting hours of the House of Commons recently changed to become more family-friendly, backed by both male and female MPs. This is one small example of how both sexes are increasingly looking for the same changes to the status quo, which benefit both men and women. I don't think gender equality is off the agenda, but perhaps future gender equality campaigns will not be so overwhelmingly composed of women seeking equal rights to men, but will include more men seeking changes, not least because they are as disadvantaged as women by issues like working practices which fail to fit with a family life."

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