08 FEB 2018

Vote 100

Kent Messenger Column- 08-02-18

One of the frustrations of life at Westminster is that issues which are divisive are amplified; whereas those upon which we are united are often more hastily brushed under the carpet.

It was therefore inspiring this week to see Parliament come together as one to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote and to remember the sacrifice of our foremothers. I am reminded of the extraordinary bravery of the suffragettes every day when I walk into Parliament and see the remnant markings of when the trailblazing women chained themselves to a statue in protest at their inequality.

Much progress has since been made in advancing the role of women in our politics. There are currently 208 female MPs (compared with only one in 1918), but this still equates to just 32%, proving that there remains much to do.

That is why, this week, I was joined in Parliament by a film crew to offer a glimpse of what life is like for a female MP. I wanted to do my bit to show women across our country that Westminster is a place where they will be welcomed. It is a setting in which they can thrive; where their views will be respected and where they can make a difference.

It is worth remembering that supporting more women into politics is not just the morally right thing to do, it also makes for better Government and more informed decision making.

This is as much the case on a national stage as it is locally. I would therefore encourage women, across Maidstone and the Weald, who are passionate about our communities to consider standing for office. Not only will you improve the area where you live, but it can be enormously rewarding and you never know where it might take you.

Perhaps we can all learn a thing or two from the Pankhurst's motto, 'deeds, not words.'

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To read more about Vote100 celebrations in parliament: click here

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