Opinion – 100 years of suffrage but there’s more to do

Posted On 06 Feb 2018 at 11:54 pm

Today we marked 100 years since some women were given the right to vote and stand in parliamentary elections. This was a huge milestone that women suffered and died for.

I am proud to have become the 419th female MP but we need to ensure that more women are able to take part in our democracy and use their talents to stand for and be elected to public office.

Both Houses of Parliament have many talented and brilliant female parliamentarians and our democracy and our country will be better as we increase the number of us.

A record number of women were elected to Parliament at the 2017 general election – but there is still a lot more work to do.

I want to see more women in politics and more women representing the Conservative Party at all levels.

That is why I have been celebrating this milestone and using it as an opportunity to encourage more women to stand as candidates.

To commemorate the centenary I have been meeting women across my Lewes constituency over the weekend encouraging them to get involved in politics and public life.

The government announced £5 million to help celebrate women’s suffrage and to encourage more women to engage in our democracy.

It will fund activities in the cities and towns with strong links to the campaign for women’s suffrage and allow local communities to apply for money to run celebratory events.

Theresa May and 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 we were the first party in the western world to elect a female Prime Minister.

Maria Caulfield

The current Prime Minister co-founded Women2Win, appointed a female vice-chair to our candidates department and appointed me as vice-chair for women to look at how we can get more female candidates.

And we are working hard in government to give women greater financial security, ensure equal opportunities in the workplace – so there’s no glass ceiling – and are working to end violence against women and girls.

During a debate in the House of Commons chamber today, led by the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, I was delighted to highlight how successful East and West Sussex have been in electing female MPs and councillors. The Home Secretary, who represents Hastings and Rye, is herself a leading example.

At the start of the day I joined other female parliamentarians and the Prime Minister in Westminster Hall and the Central Lobby of Parliament for an event to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage.

The original Representation of the People Act 1918, the law which gave the vote to women, was on display along with other suffragette artefacts.

They remind us of what was achieved. There remains much more to do.

Maria Caulfield is the MP for Lewes, a former member of Brighton and Hove City Council and was recently promoted to the Conservative Party’s vice-chair for women.

  1. Theraphim Hebraeorum Reply

    As a counter to the received wisdom of Feminist Suffrage espoused by 3rd wave Feminists (being the “truist” version of our political history of course) and in the interests of gender equality and balance (a trait absent in their exclusive gynocentric ideology) I would like to point out that 100 years ago 5 million ordinary MEN did not have the right to vote either and it took the horrors experienced by millions of men in WW1 to begin to move the political powerbase from the rich and high-born to the unwashed masses, both male and female. But our truly gynocentric society chooses to ignore the complete history and blame all men as being part of the “oppressive patriarchy” and would rather celebrate the favoured half story, the women’s story. Thus perpetuating the Feminist mantra “Penis bad. Vagina good” Today I remember Emily Davison, tragically killed whilst fighting for her cause, one soul lost, yet I point to the vast graveyards in France, filled with the bodies of British men whose sacrifices lead to the ruling classes being unable to deny the will of ordinary people any more. The struggle has been both men and women’s fight and men have suffered vastly.

  2. Bonfireboy 555 Reply

    Thank you so much for this
    I really was not aware that this part of History has been pushed aside !!!!!!
    I do wonder why we feel the need to brainwash a new generation to become
    Man haters ??????.??

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