As we mark 100 years since the first women gained the right to vote, local MP Maria Miller is inviting everyone in Basingstoke to get involved in UK Parliament Week and play a part in our thriving democracy.
UK Parliament Week is a UK-wide festival taking place from 12-18 November, which aims to engage people, especially young people, from different backgrounds and communities, with the UK Parliament and empower them to get involved.
UK Parliament Week is part of the UK Parliament’s Vote 100 programme, celebrating equal voting rights and other milestones in the UK’s democratic history. A record high of 32% women MPs were elected to the House of Commons in 2017’s General Election. There is further to go in encouraging diversity; UK Parliament invites people of all backgrounds to have a say in their democracy.
Other centenaries coming up this year include the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act which gave women over 21 the right to stand for election as an MP (21 November) and the 1918 General Election when women over 30 and all men over 21 voted for the first time (14 December).
Maria said: “I welcome the involvement of residents in Basingstoke during UK Parliament Week 2018. I am determined to ensure that our voters and citizens of tomorrow understand how vital their participation is in our democracy, and would encourage schools, Girlguides, Scouts and local groups to take part.”
In 2017, UK Parliament Week reached more than 360,000 people, with over 4,500 events. This year’s UK Parliament Week festival is the largest ever and will see more than 7,000 registered events with over 500,000 people taking part. Participating organisations include Scouts, Girlguiding, and the British Youth Council.
David Clark, Head of Education and Engagement at UK Parliament, said: “There are many exciting events as part of this year’s UK Parliament Week, with many of those happening in Basingstoke. Schools, workplaces and community groups have a chance to get involved in their democracy, and to also celebrate one of the most important centenaries in British democratic history. We can only work towards a more equal society if we all engage with democracy so please find ways to get involved in Basingstoke."