05 FEB 2018

100 YEARS OF VOTES

This week Caroline Dinenage MP and Gosport's female Conservative councillors and candidates got together to celebrate the centenary of Votes for Women and reflect on the work still to do to in the quest for gender equality.

Tuesday 6th February marks 100 years since the Representation of the People Act 1918 was passed, giving the first voting rights to women and extending the vote to men over 21.

A major series of significant exhibitions and events are taking place to enhance the understanding of the struggle for the vote and to celebrate the milestone. These events will take place across the country until December 2018.

Commenting on this historic milestone Caroline said:

"The progress we have made on these issues has not simply been given to us. It has been fought for every single step of the way.

Every woman in this country owes a massive debt of gratitude to those early suffrage campaigners, who did so much to advance the cause of women's rights. I'm so proud that 40% of Gosport Borough Councillors are women, it's much better than Parliament, with only 32% female MP's.

I was only the 310th woman to have ever been elected to Parliament, so there is still such a long way to go to achieve genuine equality, and not just in politics. There are still more FTSE 100 CEOs called David than women.

It's more important than ever to teach girls that no careers are off limits, there are no boundaries to what they can achieve. We need to talk about the issues that matter to us, to encourage more women to get politically engaged, and above all, in this, the centenary year, to go out and vote. That is, after all, the right that those early suffragettes fought for!"

The Conservatives have a proud record of promoting women in politics. The first woman to sit in the House of Commons was a Conservative, and they were the first party in the western world to elect a female Prime Minister. They are still the only political Party in the UK to have had one female PM, let alone two. Parliament is now made up of 32% female MP's.

For more information on the Representation of the People Act 1918 or events please visit https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/vote-100/.

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