6 incredibly badass women in UK Parliament
We've got some down-right badass women in British politics, particularly in the House of Commons. Fierce, bold, unafraid to speak their minds and to advocate for others in need. In the lead up to International Women's Day 2017, we want to shed light on just exactly how badass they are.
Before we get started though, did you know that out of 650 constituencies in Britain, only 196 have a woman as an MP? That's just over 30%, and quite frankly, it is just not enough. If you're feeling badass yourself and are thinking about being more politically active, read about how you can get involved by visiting the UK Parliament website here.
Mhairi Black: SNP
Mhairi Black has to be the most badass of them all. The youngest politician in the House of Commons for 350 years, Black joined the SNP at aged 19 and won her seat at aged 20. Her age has nothing to do with how badass she is though.
She’s truly fearsome, believing in ‘policies not personalities’. She’s compared the Torie’s immigration policies to 1930s Nazi Germany, is fighting to get rid of tuition fees, and has spoken out against the change in retirement age as discriminating against women.
Rosena Allin-Khan: Labour
Rosena Allin-Khan is a qualified doctor, having worked in her constituency previously at the A&E department of St George’s Hospital in Tooting.
Allin-Khan was elected to her seat after Sadiq Khan vacated it when becoming Mayor of London in 2016, and has been emphasising the mishandling of the junior doctors’ contract, rights for NHS workers and the need for financial help for medical students passionately ever since she became an MP.
Caroline Lucas: Green
Our very own Brighton Girl, Caroline Lucas has strong, simple policies and she isn’t afraid to take on Katie Hopkins (although I’m sure we all would, given the chance). In 2010 she became the UKs first Green Party MP and her popularity continues to grow.
Lucas is campaigning to create quality, affordable housing in Brighton (yes please), take back the NHS, produce affordable energy, cut tuition fees, promote equal rights, care for the vulnerable and fight for a safer world. We can’t argue with that really.
Jess Phillips: Labour
Jess Phillips is known as being just an ‘ordinary woman’ who happens to be a politician, but there’s nothing ordinary about her. She speaks her mind and, when Diane Abbott challenged her ideals, simply told her to fuck off.
Phillips has dedicated her career to supporting women and vulnerable people, working for Women’s Aid, helping those needing refuge and fleeing violence, developed a sexual exploitation support service for children… the list goes on. She wants people’s voices to be heard and is a true activist for her community.
Ruth Davidson: Scottish Conservative and Unionist
Born a ‘working class Glaswegian’, Ruth Davidson’s honest and straight talking manner has led her to become Leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party. Davidson is in the news a lot at the moment, claiming that Britain must begin to reassess how reliable an ally the US is, and accusing the SNP of copying the tactics of the leave campaign by seeking to “weaponise Brexit”.
Davidson is open about her homosexuality and when recently labelled as a ‘childless politician’ she simply tweeted “I'll just get myself down Mothercare and stare mournfully at the cribs.”
Harriet Harman: Labour
Harriet Harman is almost a household name now and, having had a lengthy career in politics, there’s no doubt she’s badass. When you search for news stories, the headlines frequently relate to gender equality, women’s rights and sexism in parliament.
She’s not afraid to call people out in her Party and claims that she regrets not running for leader in 2010. Harman holds the record as the longest-ever continuously-serving woman MP in the House of Commons and, despite considerable backlash over the years, you can’t deny she’s done fantastic things.
Written by Rosie.