|Carey Mulligan pauses to pose for a photo with a 50:50 placard.|
Atlast it's here! Today finally sees the general release of the much anticipated film charting the true story of the foot soldiers of feminism: Suffragette.
To celebrate we caught up with our very own modern day Suffragette, Frances Scott, Founder and Director of the 50:50 Parliament Campaign who shared this incredible photo of the amazing Carey Mulligan, 50:50 placard in hand, on the red carpet at the Film's Premier, last week.
She apparently not only enthusiastically posed to be photographed with a 50:50 sign but went one step further, signing a 50:50 T-shirt. More incredibly she was attending the premier just three weeks after the birth of her first child, a baby girl.
Frances, also a mother of four and an antenatal teacher of 20 years standing happily told us "It was wonderful to see her showing support for her daughter, other mothers, parents and all women, by responding in this powerful, positive and elegant way, to 50:50 Parliament, a movement for better gender balance in Parliament. Becoming a parent, a mother or a father, is an awesome transition. It was very kind and poignant of Carey Mulligan to support 50:50 Parliament at this point in her life. She gave the most amazing performance in this moving film. Her character, Maud, was a mother and the film shows the terrible sacrifices that women, many being mothers, made in their fight to gain the vote. Parliament is still not only short of women but has proportionally fewer parents. We would like Party Leaders to ensure that Parliament draws upon the widest possible pool of talent and experience and that includes the 32 million women in the UK. The mother of Parliaments needs modernising."
Like the Suffragettes 50:50 Parliament is an inclusive, non-partisan, cross-party campaign of ordinary women and men from across the UK fighting for the principle of equality for women in Westminster. 50:50 Parliament dream of a Parliament where men and women legislate the laws of our country in roughly equal numbers. They are asking Party Leaders and Parliament for solutions because they have the power to sort this out. 50:50 ask that everyone who believes in equality for women sign their online Petition at change.org/5050Parliament.
50:50 Parliament are also setting up an Ambassador Programme to inspire interest and political participation on a cross-party basis.
Meryl Streep, stars in the Suffragette film as Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the Suffragettes. She explained on the Radio Four Today programme on Thursday:
"I feel it [sexism] when I look at the statistics."
Of the 650 seats in the Commons only 191 are held by women and 459 by men so there are 268 (140%) more male MPs. There are still more men in the Commons than there have ever been women MPs. In the Lords, of the total 790 peers only 193 are women, that is 309% more men. At the current rate of change it could take half a century to achieve parity. That is too long to wait, the consequences are too appalling. Parliament needs to draw upon a wider range of talent, skills and experience.
Petitions have always had an important place in the political process. They are a way of showing people power. The Suffrage movement started with the 1866 Suffrage petition. The 50:50 Parliament Petition calls upon Party Leaders and Parliament to finish the job the brave Suffragettes started. Support 50:50 Parliament and, like Carey Mulligan, demonstrate that you care about equality by signing, sharing and adding your own comments to change.org/5050Parliament. Help make history happen.