Women make up almost half of Labour’s membership, but are under-represented in leadership positions across our party.
The first step
The 1918 Representation of the People Act was a huge triumph, but it was just the first step towards all women gaining the right to vote. The act enabled women over the age of 30, who owned property or were graduates voting in a university constituency to have a say in parliamentary elections for the first time. 8.5 million women were added to the electoral roll. The Suffragette movement didn’t stop there though – ten years later all women aged 21 or over were given the right to vote.
Women make up just under half of Labour’s membership and account for 102 of the 196 Labour MPs (October 2022), but the proportion of female CLP Chairs and Labour council leaders is much lower. To tackle this leadership gap, Labour must change its rules and culture.
Within Labour International our rules ensure 50:50 representation on our Executive Committee. We also strive to maintain women’s representation and leadership across our branches.