More than half of female MPs polled have faced discrimination

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10th May 2018 12:04 - Central Government

More than half of female MPs polled have faced discrimination: A poll has shed light on the experiences of British female MPs – with 55 per cent saying they experienced gender discrimination during the process of becoming an MP, such as being asked gender-specific questions or being treated in a different way because they were female. 

The ComRes survey of 157 MPs for the Young Women’s Trust (a charity supporting young women on low or no pay), found that 24 per cent of Labour MPs (both male and female) had experienced discrimination, followed by 21 per cent of Conservative MPs. 

The poll also found that the number of cases of discrimination were highest in the north of England (30%), followed by the Midlands (27%) and London (22%). In Wales, 18% experienced discrimination during their selection or election, while in the south of England, 12% reportedly had. In both Scotland and Northern Ireland, the figure was lower at 6%. 
 
Speaking in the Financial Times, Labour MP, Jess Philips said of the survey: “I’ve met women asked about their contraception during selections, others asked if they planned to have children, or the very common ‘Have you thought about how this role might affect your family?’
 
Dr Carole Easton OBE, chief executive of Young Women’s Trust, commented:
 
“Young Women’s Trust has uncovered appalling levels of discrimination not just in politics but in workplaces across the country. Too many women are being held back by employers’ sexist stereotypes."


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