Web links: Chapter 22

The representation of women in the House of Commons

There is a considerable range of information available about women representation in the House of Commons (and the Lords). This page gives an overview of Parliament and Women, providing the best starting point for any information about women’s representation in Parliament. With the 100 year anniversary of female suffrage in 2018, a whole range of more historical material is also available. Start with the Vote 100 page, which gives access to a wide range of historical information. This short video portrays Nancy Astor, the first woman MP to take her seat in the House of Commons, in 1919.

Accessing data about women representation

The House of Commons regularly updates its different library briefings on different dimensions of women representation. This library briefing, for example, lists all of the women MPs who have been elected to Parliament, whilst this one develops a more in-depth analysis of women representation over time. This briefing develops a comparison of the proportion of women in Government and in Parliament, including some international comparisons. It also produces topical, shorter, blog posts on the theme of women representation such as this overview of the 2017 Parliament, or this one on gender membership in select committees. International data about the proportion of women MPs is available from the Inter-Parliamentary Union site, with an overview by region available here. The World Bank provides this comparative data over time.

Reports on women representation in the House of Commons

Recent years have seen a number of important reports on the issue of women representation. These can all be accessed through the Parliament and Women page, but we list some here also:

Speaker’s Conference (on Parliamentary Representation), 2008-2010

Improving Parliament, APPG for Women in Parliament, 2014.

The Good Parliament, by Prof. Sarah Childs, 2016.

Women MPs after 2020, Women and Equalities Committee, 2017.

Back to top