United Kingdom

House of Commons

Political system
Parliamentary system
Structure of parliament
Bicameral
IPU membership
Yes

Data on women

Information on the current and historical representation of women in the parliament. Consult the 'Elections' tab to see how women have fared in elections or renewals.

Current representation

Women's representation in the current parliament or chamber

Current number of members
650
Women
263
Percentage of women
40.5%

Speaker

No information available

Secretary general

No information available

Chairs of specialized bodies

Specialized body Theme Name Sex Age
Joint Committee on Human Rights Human rights Harriet Harman Female 73
Women and Equalities Committee Gender equality Carolina Nokes Female 51

Data on age at the start of the legislature

Number of members, by age (2019-12)
Breakdown of members by age and gender
18 - 20 21 - 30 31 - 40 41 - 45 46 - 50 51 - 60 61 - 70 71 - 80 81 - 90 91 and over Totals per gender
Male 0 12 77 50 83 123 75 10 0 0 430
Female 0 12 40 30 41 65 28 4 0 0 220
Totals per age interval 0 24 117 80 124 188 103 14 0 0 650
Total <= 45: 221 Total >= 46: 429
Percentage of members, by age
Age at the last election or renewal Overall Male Female
Percentage of MPs 30 years of age or younger
3.7% 1.8% 1.8%
Percentage of MPs 40 years of age or younger
21.7% 14% 8.0%
Percentage of MPs 45 years of age or younger
34.0% 21% 12.6%

Reserved seats and quotas

There are reserved seats in parliament for certain groups
No
Electoral quota for women
Yes

Notes: Voluntary political party quotas.

Sources: Cf. The Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Act 2002 which allows political parties to select candidates from all-women shortlists. Cf. also individual party statutes.

First woman in parliament

Year of first woman in parliament
1918

Notes: 1918: The first woman elected to the House of Commons at a general election, Countess Constance Markiewicz, refused to take her seat in Parliament together with other elected members of her Party, Sinn Fein, as a protest at British policy in Ireland; on 15 November 1919, another woman was elected during by-elections

First woman speaker

Year of first woman speaker
1992

Women’s suffrage

Women’s right to vote
1918
Restricted or universal suffrage
Restricted
Detail of restrictions
Women over 30
Women’s right to vote
1928
Restricted or universal suffrage
Universal

Notes: Full voting equality with men. Age restriction lowered to 21 and now 18

Women's right to stand for election
1918
Restricted or universal
Restricted
Detail of restrictions
Women over 30 only
Women's right to stand for election
1928
Restricted or universal
Universal

Notes: Full voting equality with men. Age restriction lowered to 21 and now 18

Women's caucus

Women's caucuses or parliamentary groups that bring together women parliamentarians to strengthen cooperation and amplify their voices. For other parliamentary bodies or committees that have a specific mandate to address gender equality matters, see the ‘Specialized body – Gender equality’ tab.

Historical data for IPU membership

Historical data for IPU membership
Year IPU membership
2020-09
List of values for 2020-09
No
2019-04
List of values for 2019-04
No
2018-06
List of values for 2018-06
No