On Thursday 23 March, the House of Commons sat as normal after the horrific events of the day before. As usual, ministers took questions from MPs and I was called to speak in Women and Equalities questions. I particularly wanted to respond to the Tory MP Sir David Amess who spoke of women being “given” the right to vote. I wanted to make it clear that women fought for the right to vote and that there is still much to do to ensure that women are registered to vote.
Sadly, the minister did not have much of substance to say about how the move to individual registration is seeing many women lose their right to vote. Make sure that you are registered to vote in the upcoming West of England Mayoral elections by visiting www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
“Women won the right to vote—they fought for it, as they have had to fight for so many rights. I want to make that clear. What is the Minister doing, as we approach the year in which we celebrate that struggle, to ensure that all women in the country today are registered to vote, as many are finding individual registration difficult?”
“The Government are committed to ensuring that everybody who is entitled to vote in our country, women included, is registered to vote. I very much hope over the coming months that we can all be role models and inspirations for a new generation of young girls growing up in our country, and encourage them to play their role in our democracy not just in this Parliament, but in councils and other community groups around the country.”
You can watch the exchange here: