Wednesday, December 2, 2015

CAT SKETCH REPORT: 50/50 PARLIAMENT DEBATE, WESTMINSTER


Yesterday I went to Westminster for a debate at the House of Commons. The event was to mark the anniversary of Nancy Astor, the first women MP, taking her seat in the Common's 96 years ago.

The room was packed. The seat next to me was shared by two people, and there was a small standing crowd by the door. It was a diverse crowd, including some very eloquent minors.




This is the issue:

Of the 650 seats in the House of Commons 459 are occupied by men and 191 women.
There are 32 million women in the UK,
51% of the population. They are a diverse majority.
But the House of Commons is 71% male.
Here's the Petition for you to sign if you agree that this is a bad situation and must change sooner rather than later.

And here are my sketches! Enjoy. And click to see them big.



The Panel (can't see them all here, they had to run in and out to cast votes and debate elsewhere):
Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, Jess Phillips MP, Angela Crawley MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Baroness Smith of Newnham, Callum McCaig MP, Wes Streeting MP, Ben Howlett MP and Sophie Walker, Leader of the Women's Equality Party.



"There are some awfully, awfully average men in here". Callum McCaig on Whitehall.
Ellan asked Maria Miller if her boss would introduce a quota for his party.
No, he won't.




Baroness Smith of Newnham and Ben Howlett.




Jess Phillips.



Caroline Lucas.




Sophie Walker from the Women's Equality Party.






Many good questions asked.




The last question came from a child, to great applause, and was answered by every member of the panel (in the case of Maria Miller with s shrug - the rest gave firm estimates).

1 comment:

ELLAN PARRY said...

Maria Miller's answer, in summary, was 'it wouldn't work for our party'
'Why wouldn't it work?' I asked.
'Because of our federal structure'
'Oh'. I said.

Jess Phillips later translated this for me as, essentially, the boss wouldn't like it.