Women’S Suffrage Centenary

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:14 pm on 6th February 2018.

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Photo of Dame Cheryl Gillan Dame Cheryl Gillan Conservative, Chesham and Amersham 1:14 pm, 6th February 2018

It is a privilege to have served in this House for nearly 26 years now. Every day, as I take my seat on this Bench, I look across at the memorial to Jo Cox on the other side of the Chamber, and I remember that there is a huge capacity in this House to work cross-party and to bring about positive change, which all of us want to do. I am therefore very pleased that the Minister has come to the Dispatch Box to make a statement on such an auspicious day, particularly to pay tribute to the people who gave us the equal suffrage that we now enjoy.

As we take stock, however, we must not forget that women are still under-represented in this place and in other fields—such as science and engineering, and the top levels of business—and that women still do not get equal pay for equal work. Much of the stereotyping of male and female roles begins in the classroom. What message will my right hon. Friend send to teachers today to ensure real equality of opportunity and aspiration for all our students in the future, irrespective of gender?