• Mariam Gevorkian


Updated: Nov 20, 2018

Marking the 100th anniversary of women in UK winning the right to stand for election in parliament, the House of Commons hosted the first ever "Women MP's of the World Conference".

The UK's global development secretary and minister for women, Penny Mordaunt, co-hosted the historic event and gave an opening speech in remembrance of the progressive achievements women have made within the past 100 years. Referring to women from over a century ago as "heroines of our nation" and that "their rallying cry, calls to courage everywhere", Mordaunt also stated to women sat in the chamber that they are "heroines too" in notoriety of many being " the first women to occupy the office you hold".

Mordaunt was joined by 120 "powerful, strong, courageous" women of various parliaments from 86 different countries. The minister suggested the creation of a "giant sisterhood WhatsApp group" to further integrate, connect and empower the parliament members with one another. Parliamentarians who had lost their lives while serving the public, were also remembered such as Jo Cox, a female Labour politician who was killed two years ago.

Light was shed on the issues women in parliament face such as; commitments with motherhood, sexual harassment and having to enforce their right to be taken seriously yet Mordaunt urged upon courage to be called "everywhere because without women’s rights there are no human rights.” All in all the struggle female parliamentarians have to endure in order for change to occur within gender dynamics, despite simultaneously being motivated by love “of our nations, your children and humanity” is celebratory and a process.

Theresa May also joined the discussion at Downing Street on Wednesday, celebrating the fact that there are currently more female MP's globally than ever before. This also includes the House of Commons, whereby 32% of British MP's are women.

(although this figure surpasses the percentage of 24% women being in parliament on an international scale). May impelled that more women in elected offices equates to "greater voice speaking out on issues that affect women" such as "gender-based violence, girls' education, childcare and woman's health".