Just over half of the adult UK population are women, while almost 80% of members of both Houses of Parliament are men. Below are some of the recent steps that have been taken to encourage men and women to play a more equal part in UK politics and government.
Why have women and some other types of people in the UK found it more difficult to become candidates at parliamentary elections? To try to answer this question and others, the House of Commons set up a special committee, called a Speaker’s Conference.
Read the practical suggestions for change that the Speaker’s conference made in its Final Report.
Every two years a debate takes place in the Commons to review progress on the Conference recommendations. Read the debates that took place on 12th January 2012 and 27th February 2014 .
'Improving Parliament' report
On 14 July 2014 the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women in Parliament published their report: Improving Parliament: creating a better and more representative House.
Political Parties and Women
Political parties have tried different methods to increase the number of their women candidates and elected representatives. These are described in the Commons Library Research Note: All-women shortlists.
Specific opportunities for women are being offered by some of the political parties and groups that have members in the UK Parliament. You can find out more by following the links below.
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Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at Parliament
Clerk’s Apprentices Scheme: Ten young people across London and the South East have been taken on for a twelve-month placement in the House of Commons Service.
Speaker’s Parliamentary Placement Scheme offers ten paid placements to people from more diverse backgrounds to make access to Parliament more representative of the UK population.
Diversity & Inclusion in the Commons
Working for the House of Lords