Portsmouth women join Stephen’s ‘Ask Her to Stand’ call

Portsmouth South MP invites local women to Parliament to encourage greater female involvement in politics as part of his ‘Vote 100 Portsmouth’ campaign

Stephen Morgan MP today spent time with two Portsmouth women in the House of Commons as part of the national scheme ‘Ask Her to Stand’, encouraging them and others to enter political life. Paula Ann Savage, Milton campaigner, and Isabelle Séné, Paulsgrove campaigner, represented both constituencies in the city on this special occasion and attended a number of workshops and lectures throughout the day.

The day saw MPs from all parties invite women from their constituencies to take part and was organised by 50:50 Parliament, Jo Cox Foundation, and Centenary Action.

The purpose of the day is to inspire and encourage a diverse range of women to stand for political office. In the last 100 years, only 491 women have gained seats at Westminster, compared to 4,503 men.

At the last election, only 12 additional women were elected. At this rate it will take over 50 years to achieve the gender-balanced Parliament all parties have agreed it desirable.

Earlier this year Stephen launched his Vote 100 Portsmouth campaign to celebrate the centenary of women’s suffrage and encourage local women and girls to encourage more in our democracy. 50 Portsmouth School girls were brought up to visit the Houses of Parliament and a further 50 will do so next week to sing specially written songs to mark the centenary. Stephen has also held a sash competition asking Portsmouth school children to design a suffragette sash for the 21st century.

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Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“I was really pleased to invite Paula and Isabelle up to Parliament today. We need to make it clear that Westminster welcomes women.

Progress isn’t moving nearly fast enough, which is why I back the efforts for 50:50 representation in Parliament and why initiatives like this are so important.

These brilliant Pompey women have a vital role to play in our politics and today hopefully acted as another nudge to more to get involved and engaged in our democracy.”

Paula Ann Savage from Milton, said:

“Today has been both inspiring and encouraging to be present in Parliament with my MP Stephen Morgan on such an important day for women in politics.

This week marks 100 years since the first women gained the right to stand for election. It has been an honour and an eye opener to be here, to see what has been achieved and what is left to do.

The 50:50 campaign is so important in highlighting how the female role is as important as the male role in Parliament.

I have had an insight into the daily running of Parliament, to understand how it works, and realise how the female voice should speak up and indeed speak louder”.