Rugby woman joins MP in campaign for more women in politics

Mark Pawsey MP and Clara Wicks in Westminster.
Mark Pawsey MP and Clara Wicks in Westminster.

A woman from Rugby joined her MP for a day in Westminster highlighting the need for more women in politics.

Clara Wicks shadowed local MP Mark Pawsey around the corridors of power as part of a massive event aimed at encouraging more women to stand for election.

The initiative saw more than 250 inspiring women head to Westminster to highlight the need for more women in politics.

On November 21, 1918, just days after the Armistice, the Qualification of Women Act was passed, allowing women to stand for Parliament for the first time.

Since 1918 there have been only 491 women MPs compared to 4,503 men.

The ‘Ask Her to Stand’ event was aimed at closing this gap and ensuring that Parliament is more representative of the country as a whole.

Clara and the other women taking part in the day spent time shadowing their MP and seeing first-hand what it means to be a Member of Parliament.

They also took part in workshops, were able to watch Prime Minister’s Questions and to get a full picture of what it means to serve in political office.

Clara commented: “I know the challenges of attracting more women into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) industries.

“There is a real drive to encourage businesses to embrace diversity, so I was shocked to learn that in Parliament, where laws are passed and the people are supposed to be represented, there isn’t gender balance.

“It was encouraging to see that Parliament and the political parties are striving to reach out to people from different backgrounds and experiences to join them, and I hope that more women and indeed men will be influenced to consider a career in politics.

Mr Pawsey said: “While there is clearly more work to do to make Westminster more representative, I am pleased that here in Rugby our local councillors are well ahead of Parliament and the country.

“At Rugby Borough Council there is nearly a 50/50 split of men and women.”