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Analysis

Men can’t be allowed to drown out women’s voices on Brexit

by Rachel Franklin | 11.10.2018

It is well-known that women are woefully underrepresented in Parliament; just a third (32%) of MPs and a quarter (26%) of peers are women. Few will be surprised to learn therefore that men’s voices have dominated the Brexit debates in Parliament. Yet the extent to which women have not been heard is really quite shocking.

Women MPs’ voices have been drowned out in parliamentary debates by men, new analysis by Women for a People’s Vote reveals. Men have made 90% of all parliamentary contributions on Brexit, whereas women made up just 10% of the speaking time allowed in debates.

 

Overall, male MPs have spoken for a total of 12.5 hours in all Brexit debates in Parliament, compared to the 2.4 hours women MPs have spoken on the subject. What’s more, male MPs spoke a total of 97,383 words in the House of Commons on Brexit across the main debates, compared to women who got just 18,333 words in.

We already know that Brexit is likely to affect women disproportionately, growing the gender pay gap, haemorrhaging staff and funds from the NHS and pushing up the cost of living. A no-deal Brexit, where the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal, would be particularly damaging for women. Such consequences have been largely overlooked in the process because of the failure to give adequate voice to women.

 Join us at the People's Vote 
 March for the Future 


  20th October | Midday | Park Lane, London  

Today’s research sheds light on just how absent women’s voices are in the Brexit debate. So long as women are excluded from the parliamentary debate on Brexit, we will not be represented in the final deal. We cannot trust Parliament to deliver a deal that works for or speaks to women. The only way for women to be fairly and properly represented as part of this process is to have a People’s Vote on the final deal.

Join us on October 20 to march on Parliament and demand women have a voice on Brexit. You can find the full details of the People’s Vote March for the Future and sign up here.

Rachel Franklin is campaign director at Women for a People’s Vote.

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Edited by Luke Lythgoe