Guest column: We must continue to do more to ensure gender equality

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

This week, we celebrate 100 years of some women being given the vote.

The Representation of the People Act was passed in 1918 and gave some women and all men the right to vote.

Later on this year, we will also celebrate 100 years since women were first allowed to stand for Parliament.

We must always remember these events as vital in our history as women took one more step towards full equality.

Whilst we have come so far, recent events such as the #MeToo campaign remind us there still is deep gender inequality in our world today.

When I first became an MP, there were 118 women MPs.

Sixteen years later there has been some progress, there are now as many women MPs in my own party as there were in 2001 altogether and the overall number of women MPs in Parliament has increased to 208.

However, we are somewhat far off from gaining equal representation across Parliament.

The increase in women MPs has not just made Parliament more representative, it’s also changed the culture by making it more family-friendly and accessible to those from all backgrounds.

It is also women MPs who have led on legislation that has helped enable greater gender equality in Britain today, such as the 1970 Equal Pay Act led by Barbara Castle.

And Yvette Cooper helped implement the Sure Start programme.

To mark the 100 years since women first gained the vote and were able to stand for Parliament, I am organising a number of events for women of all ages across Bassetlaw.

In September, I am hosting a one-day event for young women aged 16-to-18 with the focus on raising aspirations and ambitions.

The event will be called Girl Power and will feature a day of workshops and talks from women from all different working sectors.

It will cover areas from university application processes to public speaking.

It will be open for young women and their mothers to attend so that their mothers can also learn how best to support their daughters at such a crucial age when they are making tough decisions about their futures.

If you are interested in attending, please contact me at, call my office on 0207 219 8345 or contact me on Facebook.

I am currently in the process of organising for 100 women from Bassetlaw to come for a tour of Parliament to celebrate the 100 years of women first receiving the vote.

It was confirmed last week that MPs will be leaving Parliament when the restoration takes place.

This could be the last opportunity for people to come down to Westminster in the next ten years to visit.

If you are a woman from Bassetlaw and are interested in attending, please email me at, call my office on 01909 506200 or contact me via Facebook or Twitter.