50:50 Parliament visual essay: Women in Parliament

Since 1918, 490 women have been elected to parliament. In 2018, there are 209 women MPs. For every woman currently in the House of Commons, there are twice as many men.

A visual essay by 50:50 Parliament illustrates the history of gender representation in the House of Commons, with detailed demographics and policy implications.

50:50 Parliament argues that a representative Parliament needs gender parity.

The digital tool analyses 1.2 million speeches made by MPs to understand how a gender shift in the House of Commons might affect the topics debated.

It finds that women MPs focus more of their speeches on welfare reforms, child care, the NHS and social care, whereas men spend more of their speeches on legislation, energy, the European Union and the armed forces

Research overwhelmingly finds that the lack of gender equality in parliament is a demand-side problem. This means that parties are not selecting enough women, rather than not enough women standing.

At the last election, only 12 extra women were elected. At this rate it will take over 50 years for full gender parity.

See the visual essay.