This week is UK Parliament Week, a UK-wide festival taking place from 12-18 November.
UK Parliament Week is part of the UK Parliament’s Vote 100 programme, celebrating equal voting rights and other milestones in the UK’s democratic history. A record high of 32% women MPs were elected to the House of Commons in 2017’s General Election. There is further to go in encouraging diversity; UK Parliament invites people of all backgrounds to have a say in their democracy.
Other centenaries coming up this year include the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act which gave women over 21 the right to stand for election as an MP (21 November) and the 1918 General Election when women over 30 and all men over 21 voted for the first time (14 December).
It’s not too late to host your own UK Parliament Week event. There are a number of different resource booklets available on the UK Parliament Week website, which are targeted at a range of different organisation. Ideas vary from holding your own debates to testing your knowledge on Parliament by taking the UK Parliament Week Quiz.
If you can’t make one of the events taking place, you can still get involved. Enter the #NameOurSister competition to name the LEGO Sister Suffragette. All you have to do is use #NameOurSister on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You have until the 18 November to share your suggestions and then Helen Pankhurst, great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, who were both leaders in the suffragette movement, will pick her favourites for an online poll, which will decide the most popular name.
I’m always keen to get constituents involved in my work in Parliament. I regularly visit schools to talk about my role and find out more about local issues. Additionally, I often welcome groups to Parliament - only last month I met with students from Vision West Notts College in the House of Commons. UK Parliament Week is a fantastic opportunity to foster closer engagement between the public and their Parliament. Use the hashtag #UKPW18 so I can see what activities you get up to!”