The Parliament Project's first 6 months

Women do want to get into politics! 

Over the last week we have read some articles suggesting that women are not interested in politics and this is why they are under-represented in all positions of political power. Judging by the interest in The Parliament Project workshops since we launched in May and June we believe this not to be the case! In 2016 over 400 women came to our events across the country, with a further 150 booked to attend in Jan and March. Over 250 came to our launch events in Edinburgh and London and nearly 150 attended our events and workshops in Manchester, Musselburgh, London and Edinburgh.

Thank you to the amazing political women who supported us at those events. Jo Swinson (Liberal Democrats), Nan Sloane (Labour), Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh MP (SNP), Maggie Chapman (Greens), Jeane Freeman MSP (SNP), Kezia Dugdale MSP (Labour), Annie Wells MSP (Conservatives), Sophie Walker (Women's Equality Party), Baroness Anne Jenkin (Conservatives), Cllr Melanie Main (Greens), Cllr Shamin Ahktar (Labour), Cllr Kelly Parry (SNP), Cllr Amina Lone (Labour) and Talat Yaqoob.

Workshop locations for 2017

We have been overwhelmed by interest from people wanting us to come to their area to run workshops. We currently have the following planned.

New locations, dates to be defined:  Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Bedfordshire, Cambridge, Ayr. If you are interested in a Parliament Project workshop for your area, either 'Exploring your Political Pathway' or 'How to Become an MP', please email us on help@parliamentproject.com

Partnerships developed

We are delighted to have formed some partnerships with great organisations working towards increasing women in politics in various ways. Inclusion Scotland: Access To Politics is a project to increase the number of disabled people elected to positions in Scotland. We are grateful to be collaborating with them at the intersection of gender and disability and appreciate their financial support for attendees of our workshops in Scotland. We are running our Birmingham event in conjunction with The Sikh Network, who would like to see better representation of Sikh women in politics. Both Women 50:50 in Scotland and 50:50 Parliament in England are pressing for at least 50% of MSPs and MPs to be women and we are delighted to have had Women 50:50 Founder and Director Talat Yaqoob support our workshops and 50:50 Parliament collaborate with us to#AskHerToStand. For our Manchester workshop we collaborated with DivaManc an organisation seeking to ensure women's voices are heard in devolution to Manchester. We were also delighted to speak about our project at the 'Political Women have More in Common' event to celebrate the life of Jo Cox, Labour MP and at the first Women's Equality Party Conference. Thank you to all these organisations and to all of the people who contact us on social media offering to help.

We are very excited to be running a workshop as part of the Women of the World Festival this March in London's Southbank Centre. We should have room for about 150 to attend. More details to follow as the programme gets confirmed. We are also hoping to have an information stall in the foyer of Royal Festival Hall. If you would be willing to help us woman the stall on Fri 10th, Sat 11th or Sun 12th March - anytime between 11am to 6pm, please let us know. We would love you to join us. Please email us onhelp@parliamentproject.com.

Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust - Thank you!

None of this would have been possible without the financial support of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust so a huge thanks to them for their grant this year. Thank you so much to all the many volunteers who keep offering to help. We want to see more of you in 2017, when we plan to fundraise a bit more and expand our work. The world never needed women in politics as much as it does now. Let's get on it!

All the best, Lee and Vicky