95 years since its first female MP

canada goose outlet in montreal Ninety five years ago today, on November 28, 1919, an American became the first woman in Parliament. Technically, she had been beaten to it the previous December by the countess Constance Markievicz, an Irish nationalist who fought and won her buy canada goose jacket campaign for Dublin St Patrick from Holloway www.canadagooseuk.net Prison. But Sinn Fein, her party, was boycotting Parliament, and with them she refused her seat. canada goose outlet in montreal

canada goose outlet store uk So it fell to Lady Nancy Astor to enter the House of Commons as its Canada Goose sale first female member (and first female Conservative), succeeding her husband in Canada Goose Parka the by canada goose uk outlet election triggered by his ascent to the Lords. It was one year since the Act canada goose uk black friday of Parliament which had given propertied women Canada Goose Coats On Sale over 30 the right to vote and stand. She would serve her constituency of Plymouth Sutton for another 26 years. canada goose outlet store uk

canada goose outlet ottawa Yet since then the progress for women representation has been slow. Until 1987 women represented canadagooseuk.net less than five per cent of MPs; this doubled in 1992 then doubled again to 20 per cent in 1997. Even now, nearly a hundred years after the initial Act, only 23 per cent of representatives in both houses are women. Will it take until the 200th anniversary of Lady Astor’s election before we write about equal representation as if it were business as usual? canada goose outlet ottawa

canada goose outlet online uk Only two countries, Rwanda and Andorra, are governed by parliaments in which there are as many women as men. Unfortunately they only account for 0.02 percent of the world population. In global terms, the UK is close to the average of 22 per cent. But uk canada goose across the world these figures are generally improving, with strategies to support women into leadership positions forming part of a broader fight to win their equality. canada goose outlet online uk

buy canada goose uk Often this starts at a community level: in Burundi, CARE international supported an initiative called “Elect canada goose clearance Become Elected”, which sponsored training of women in communication, campaigning, and leadership to prepare them for competition with their male counterparts. Partly as a result of the initiative, the country met its target of having Canada Goose Online women make up 30 per cent of all elected officials at the provincial. Other organisations such as Womankind Worldwide and our own government Department for International Development have canada goose coats on sale supported similar local initiatives. buy canada goose uk

canada goose parka outlet As others forge ahead, Britain falls canada goose behind. In cheap Canada Goose 1997 we were ranked 20th in the world listing of the proportion of women in parliament; by the end of 2004 we had fallen to uk canada goose outlet 49th. Now, in 2014, the mother of Parliaments and birthplace of the Westminster system stands in a rather miserable buy canada goose jacket cheap 64th place. Though we brag about our democracy, we and the USA (ranked even worse at 85) are beaten not only by European canada goose store countries including Germany (21st) and France (40th) but by others not renowned for their liberal heritage such as Kyrgyzstan, China and Sudan. There are organisations in the UK trying to address the imbalance, including UK Canada Goose Jackets Feminista, the Fawcett Society and 50:50 Parliament, but these initiatives face an uphill battle given a British establishment which, despite the odd lurch towards equality, seems canadian goose jacket a long way from truly embracing it. canada goose parka outlet

canada goose outlet website legit Nancy Astor (second from right) pictured at her home with Amy Johnson, Charlie Chaplin and George Bernard Shaw canada goose outlet website legit

canada goose outlet us This matters, because the lack of diversity among Canada Goose Outlet those that represent us is echoed in the priorities canada goose uk shop and the policies they take forward, arguably resulting in a form of legislative tunnel vision which a broader spectrum canada goose coats of thinkers and doers might avoid. We talk about the public disillusionment with the system but never ask whether its failure to represent a population half comprised of women might have something to do with it. We need a greater recognition of the gender gap in politics; for the political hierarchy to wake up to the dangers of disenfranchising women; for them Canada Goose online to prioritise diversity amongst candidates; and, when the elections come, we need to vote in women. canada goose outlet us

canada goose outlet uk For women lack of representation in the corridors of power is symptomatic of wider gender inequalities, which manifest, in their rawest form, as the ongoing patterns of violence against women. It is canada goose factory sale fitting that the anniversary of Lady Astor taking her seat in parliament falls during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence an international campaign lasting from November 25 to December 10, this canada goose clearance sale year themed on challenging militarism and ending violence against women. canada goose outlet uk

canada goose factory outlet toronto location The campaigners are not saying that women are incapable of violence, nor that they don take part in militaristic actions (witness the recent spate of women suicide bombers or the Kurdish women fighting the Islamic State). They are saying that most individual acts of gender based violence are perpetrated by men against women, and that men too predominantly control the armies and militias of the world. If we could only shake the near monopoly of power held by unrepresentative cohorts of men across the world, and put in its place canada goose black friday sale a truly representative power base, inclusive strategies would emerge more readily, and the Earth would be a less dangerous place for us all. canada goose factory outlet toronto location

canada goose outlet nyc Dr Helen Pankhurst is the great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, one of the original Suffragettes, and a special adviser on gender equality at CARE International UK. Join her in a march past the Houses of Parliament on cheap canada goose uk March 8, 2015 in solidarity with women and girls across the world canada goose outlet nyc.