In the Centenary year of women getting the right to vote and to stand for election, a number of excellent reports were published which looked at how women’s political engagement has improved, or not and what can be done about it. Below you can access some of the key research on women in politics in the UK.

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“It is 100 years since some women first won the vote and approaching 100 years since the first woman was elected to the House of Commons. Since then and particularly over the last 20 years women’s representation in our politics has been transformed, with impacts on the nature and content of political discourse and policy. Yet women remain significantly underrepresented, making up only 32% of all MPs, with significant variation across political parties. While progress has been made, a significant amount of work is still needed to ensure that Parliament reflects a diverse range of voices.

In this report you will find:

  • A summary of the barriers women face getting elected at various stages that make up the journey to political office

  • Analysis of the careers of MPs, broken down by education, careers and activism

  • A summary of the implications of the research findings”

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The british council: Women, Power, Politics. Whats changed in 100 years

“2018 marks the centenary of The Representation of the People Act and The Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act, both of which marked major advances for women's political participation and empowerment. 

To commemorate this historical moment, the British Council commissioned this report to reflect upon the advances that have been made for women's political participation, power and leadership in the four nations of the UK, highlight the persistent challenges and priorities and consider the perspectives of other countries. The definition of women’s political participation, power and leadership goes beyond the representation of women in parliament, also focusing on the influence of women within power and decision-making structures and processes, how women in different spheres of life are participating and engaging in politics.”


Prof Sarah childs: the good parliament

“The recommendations in this Report are a blueprint for a more representative and inclusive House of Commons. They have the potential to significantly enhance the effectiveness and legitimacy of the House. Institutional leadership will be provided by the newly created Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion.”