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Digital Subscriptions > DIVA Magazine > May 2017 > A woman’s place is in the house

A woman’s place is in the house

WITH 32 OUT LGB MPS, BRITAIN HAS THE GAYEST PARLIAMENT IN THE WORLD, BUT ONLY NINE ARE WOMEN, SAYS CARRIE LYELL

When I was born in 1985, there was a female prime minister. Margaret Thatcher’s name was like a swear word in our house, and she’s hardly a feminist icon as far as I’m concerned, but the fact remains, I grew up in a world where that was at least a possibility; a woman could achieve the highest political office in the UK. But just 100 years ago, in 1917, women didn’t yet have the right to vote, and it would be another two years before a woman took her seat in the House of Commons.

Progress – both in terms of gender and sexual orientation – has been relatively swift. As I write, there are 191 female MPs in the UK parliament, and with 32 LGB MPs (there are currently no out transgender MPs) it’s been called the gayest parliament in the world. Lesbian, gay and bisexual MPs make up almost 5% of the Commons, representative of the percentage of the UK population estimated to be LGBT. 26% of the House of Lords are women. In Northern Ireland, 28% of the country’s assembly are women, while in Wales it’s a whopping 42%.

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About DIVA Magazine

As the UK prepares to go the polls in June, our timely front cover is Mhairi Black. The 22-year-old SNP MP has won legions of fans from across the political spectrum since being elected in 2015 thanks to her principled stance on issues affecting the most vulnerable in our communities. In an exclusive interview with publisher Linda Riley, Black talks about her biggest challenges in parliament so far, and why she doesn’t want to be Nicola Sturgeon. Also in this issue… Rose and Rosie: Exposed Sleeping with the enemy: Can a relationship survive political differences? Denise Welch: “We need to come out about depression” Game Of Thrones star Ellie Kendrick talks to Roxy Bourdillon about her new film A woman’s place is in the House: Carrie Lyell on women in parliament and the progress over the last 100 years Why are so many straight authors writing about same-sex love? Church for atheists: Vicky Beeching experiences a “godless church” for the first time “It’s not just banter”: Tackling homophobia in football Our family and autism PLUS: Travel, art, community and more!
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