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 Maria Miller Maria Miller Chair, Women and Equalities Committee 1:14 pm, 6th February 2018

It is right that we celebrate today, and most of us would want to recognise what we have achieved working together, often cross-party, to improve the lot of women in this country. I particularly want to pay tribute to all the people who have served on the Women and Equalities Committee for the incredible work we have done together to try to improve things for women in our country.

It is our role in the Commons to scrutinise laws and to make sure that we have a healthy democracy. Allowing women the right to stand for election to this place and giving them the vote gave us a healthier democracy 100 years ago, and we need to make sure we build on that in the future to have more women in this place and ensure a healthier democracy in years to come.

My right hon. Friend was right not to forget the abuse and intimidation that the suffragettes endured from their opposition 100 years ago. It is the sort of abuse that too many women who stand for public office still have to endure today. What can my right hon. Friend tell us about the work the Government will be doing to tackle the online abuse that is so clearly putting women off standing for election, and in doing so, to make sure that in the future we can have a 50:50 Parliament that properly represents this country?