As Britain marks 100 years since the first women gained the right to vote, this year’s Parliament Week has added significance, writes Sir Kevin Barron, MP for Rother Valley.
Parliament Week is a UK-wide festival which aims to engage people, especially young people, from different backgrounds and communities, with the UK Parliament and empower them to get involved.
It is part of Parliament’s Vote 100 programme, celebrating equal voting rights and other milestones in the UK’s democratic history.
A record high of 32 per cent women MPs were elected to the House of Commons in the last election.
Other centenaries coming up this year include the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act, which gave women aged over 21 the right to stand for election, and the 1918 general election when women over 30 and all men over 21 voted for the first time.
As the MP for Rother Valley, I welcome the involvement of people in the constituency during Parliament Week.
I am determined to ensure that the voters and citizens of tomorrow understand how vital their participation is in our democracy.
And I’m excited to see so many schools, girl guides, scouts and local groups taking part.
I have also been visiting schools in my constituency this week to explain the work I do.
In 2017, Parliament Week reached more than 360,000 people.
This year’s festival is the largest ever and will see more than 7,000 registered events.
Schools, workplaces and community groups across the country have a chance to get involved in their democracy, and to also celebrate one of the most important centenaries in British democratic history.
We can only work towards a more equal society if we all engage with democracy.