British women push for equality 100 years after first female MP's election

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British women push for equality 100 years after first female MP's election


LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A century after Britain’s first election in which women voted and stood for parliament, female activists called on Friday for further reform to achieve equality amid abuse and prejudice.

Despite celebrations to mark 100 years since most women aged over 30 won the right to vote - including unveiling a statue of women’s suffrage activist Emmeline Pankhurst - male lawmakers outnumber women two to one.

“I don’t think we have got far enough, the pace of change has been ludicrously slow,” Helen Pankhurst, great-granddaughter of Emmeline and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, also a prominent campaigner, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“I think they would be saying fabulous that you’re celebrating ... but they’d also be really interested to ask how far we have got and what we still need to do and maybe chivvying us on.”

The past year has seen women question why they remain under-represented in public life and senior business positions in a global debate over gender roles after the #MeToo movement spurred a wider debate over their position in society.

Britain sits at number 38 out of 193 countries in a league table by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), with women holding 32 percent of seats in the lower house, far behind Rwanda, Cuba and Bolivia, which have female majorities.

Click here to read the full article published by Reuters on 14 December 2018.

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