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By Bishop of Leeds
By Baroness Fox
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Keir Starmer in support of #AskHerToStand

3 min read

On Ask Her To Stand day, on 21 November, Sir Keir Starmer MP talks on the importance of involving women at all levels of politics.

Over 100 years ago, the first woman took her seat in parliament. Since then, more than 5,000 MPs have been elected, but fewer than 600 of them are women. 

Today, there are just 224 female MPs. Ask Her To Stand day aims to change that. 

When women are elected, they change the course of history. Margaret Beckett, Britain’s female Foreign Secretary. Harriet Harman, who was instrumental in Labour’s introduction of the National Minimum Wage. And I am proud to lead a Labour Party which hopes to have Britain’s first female Chancellor. 

Labour’s policies; ensuring equal opportunity for every child, protecting women and girls against domestic violence, getting our NHS back on its feet, better access to sport and the arts and improving our justice system, are created by women in our shadow cabinet. Their work will change our country for the better. 

And look at what happens when women aren’t around the decision-making table – medical PPE doesn’t fit properly, shocking black maternity outcomes aren’t addressed, the economic potential of women entrepreneurs isn’t harnessed.

The next generation of women should experience less inequality than women that have come before them, but it’s far from job done. I see in my daughter and her friends the potential that generation holds. They rightly expect equality, they are digitally savvy. They see the potential in technology and social change. They know they can do any job as well as their male friends. 

It is on us as politicians now to pave the way for them to use those beliefs. There’s still a long way to go.

Ask Her To Stand aims to encourage women to get involved in all levels of politics - local and national. 

So, if you know someone who would make a great representative, in parliament, and in their local communities, Ask Her To Stand.

nominate now for women in Westminster

Nominations for Women in Westminster 2024 close on Friday 24 November!
There are so many talented women in Westminster who often go unrecognised. We are therefore calling on you to nominate any woman currently working in Westminster or across the supporting sectors that you believe has made an impact on politics or public life in the past year. These women could be, but are not limited to, parliamentarians, journalists, civil servants, activists, think tankers or public affairs professionals. To find out more and submit your nomination, please visit the Women in Westminster website.

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