It was not only Sisters Uncut that were protesting on the red carpet at the Suffragette premier. Carey Mulligan, the fabulous star of the film, was also demonstrating. She enthusiastically posed to be photographed with a 50:50 Parliament placard, asking for equality in Parliament!
In the November issue of Elle she says:
"I think it would be a better world if it were run equally - we're still so far from that."
50:50 Parliament were at the Premier in force, and gained lots of support. Everyone who believes in equality for women should follow Carey Mulligan's lead and take action by signing the 50:50 Parliament Petition at change.org/5050Parliament.
Like the Suffragettes 50:50 Parliament are an inclusive cross-party movement of over 12,000 ordinary women and men from across the UK campaigning for the principle of better gender balance in Parliament. The petition calls upon all party leaders and Parliament for solutions to get more women at Westminster.
Petitions have always had an important place in the political process. The Suffragette movement started with the 1866 Suffrage petition. The 50:50 Parliament Petition calls for the job that the brave Suffragettes started to be finished. David Cameron Prime Minister has said that involving women in public life and Parliament is "Fantastically important". Party leaders all talk the talk but 50:50 want them to walk the walk. We need a plan and action. We need "Deeds not words".
50:50 are also recruiting Ambassadors to inspire political participation and give support and encouragement to people that might consider standing for whichever party appeals to them. For more information contact frances@5050Parliament.co.uk.
Meryl Streep plays Emmeline Pankhurst in this awesome film with poise and conviction. She has some great lines, including "Never give up!". As she said on Radio Four Today Programme "I feel it [sexism] when I look at the statistics."
Men outnumber women by more than 2:1 in the Commons and 3:1 in the Lords. Of the 650 seats in the Commons only 191 are held by women and 459 by men so there are 268 (140%) more male MPs. There are still more men in the Commons than there have ever been women MPs. In the Lords, of the total 790 peers only 193 are women, that is 309% more men. At the current rate of change it could take half a century to achieve parity. That is too long to wait, the consequences are too appalling. Parliament needs to draw upon a wider range of talent, skills and experience, including the 32 million women who account for 51% of the population.
Parliament is and always had been dominated by men, they rule the world, our past and our present. If we want the future to be different we have to demand it. Signing up to the 50:50 Parliament Campaign has never been a more pressing, timely issue.
As Nancy Astor, first woman MP to take her seat in the Commons put it:
"I wanted the world to get better and I knew that it couldn't get better if it was going to be ruled by men alone"
We desperately need a more gender balanced Parliament! Join the 50:50 Parliament campaign by signing change.org/5050Parliament, let this action be your personal "Deeds and not words"