01 November 2019

New research by the Women and Equalities Select Committee has found that 86% of women MPs are not confident that appropriate action is being taken to ensure violence and abuse against women in politics is effectively tackled.

The survey was carried out ahead of the election of a new Speaker of the House of Commons, which is scheduled for Monday 4 November. Nearly half of MPs believe responsibility for ensuring an inclusive culture in the House of Commons rests with the Speaker.

Commenting on these new findings, Sam Smethers Chief Executive of The Fawcett Society said:

“Politics is still a hostile environment for women. Many are now voting with their feet and leaving altogether. The women who are standing down tend to be younger and have been in Parliament for a much shorter period than the men.

“86% of women MPs say more could be done to tackle abuse and violence against women in politics. We agree with them and this must become a top priority for any new Speaker, for each of the party leaders and social media platforms. We are normalising hate and legitimising violence and that is harming our democracy.

“More than three years on from the Good Parliament report it is worrying that the vast majority of women MPs feel that not enough is being done to make the Commons a more inclusive place. If we are going to make our Parliament and our politics a less hostile place for women then this is where it starts. We need radical change.”