Women in the House of Commons: Background Paper - Commons Library Standard Note

Published 14 October 2014 | Standard notes SN06651

Authors: Richard Kelly

Topic: House of Commons, Members of Parliament

At the General Election of May 2010, 143 women were elected as Members of Parliament. Of the 227 new members elected to Parliament for the first time in 2010, 73 were women. The number of women currently serving in Parliament is now at its highest ever, with one in five MPs now a woman.

This background paper provides a breakdown of female MPs currently sitting in the House of Commons. It also gives a history of the campaigns to give women the vote and to allow them to stand as candidates for election. The history of parliamentary representation by women is also briefly examined. A separate background paper is available which lists all the women who have ever been elected to the House of Commons (Library Standard Note SN/PC/6652).

Further information on women in Parliament, including some international comparisons, and in Government is available in the Library Standard Note Women in Parliament and Government (SN/SG/1250).

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