It should be simple: half the population are women, so half of our legislators should be women, too. WE recognise that across the world, proportional voting systems tend to be better at electing women, and that an appointed House of Lords is neither equitable or democratic. But WE also know electoral reform may never happen – and everyone is losing out in the meantime on the progress a more diverse Parliament could achieve.
Today, 66 per cent of Theresa May's Government are men. Eighty per cent of Conservative MPs are men.
It is time to put Parliament into “special measures”. Women make up 29% of total MPs and 24% of Peers in the House of Lords. To correct this women should make up at least 66% of new MPs and 75% of new Peers for the next two elections. Political parties must:
Ensure 66% of candidates replacing retiring MPs and 66% of other candidates are women; different parties may choose different methods of achieving this but WE support the use of all women-shortlists.
Grant 75% of new peerages to women.
Based on current retirement and appointment rates, and current rates of improvement in the representation of women in parliament, this will achieve a 50:50 Parliament in 2025.