The 21st of November 2018 marked 100 years since the first women gained the right to stand for election to the House of Commons. To mark this centenary celebration the Government Equalities Office chose to host their conference “From Law Breakers to Law Makers” at Church House Westminster on this date.
On arrival in the morning the Bishop Partridge Hall was used as an exhibition and networking space, which were supported by the Fawcett Society, the Jo Cox Foundation, the Centenary Action Group and 50:50 Parliament.
Almost 200 guests then took their seats in the Hoare Memorial Hall where the National Youth Choir performed before proceedings commenced for the conference.
The panel of speakers included:
- Seyi Akiwowo – Founder of Glitch UK, a not-for-profit organisation that exists to end online abuse.
- Victoria Atkins MP – Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Home Office
- Jane Garvey – British radio presenter, currently of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.
- Stella Creasy MP – British Labour and Co-operative politician MP for Walthamstow.
- Baroness Anne Jenkin – Conservative Member of the House of Lords
- Gina Martin – Activist and writer, launched campaign to make upskirting illegal.
Attendees were able to learn from women lawmakers who have made a difference to the country. They were also encouraged to remember the work of the women, and men, who won women the foothold of equality. The speakers delivered inspiring speeches during the conference, underscoring the event hashtag #AskHerToStand to encourage more women to become candidates and to stand for political office.
The central location of Church House Westminster nearby the Houses of Parliament made the venue an ideal choice for the event, with easy walking distance of Westminster station and Parliament. The GM of Church House Westminster, Robin Parker commented: "We are delighted to host this centenary celebration on this historic day. Church House ticked many of the event organisers' checkboxes for this event including accessibility and flexibility".
Getting ready for our #AskHerToStand event @Churchhouseconf to mark 100 years since women won the right to stand as MPs in the UK. We’re expecting over 300 women to come to Parliament today & we hope they are as excited as we are 🙌😃 pic.twitter.com/D4egrbTFtS— 50:50 Parliament (@5050Parliament) November 21, 2018