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PRESS RELEASE: On International Women’s Day women continue to be underrepresented in the Brexit debate

by Jenna Norman on 08.03.19 in Uncategorised

On International Women’s Day new research from Women for a People’s Vote shows that women continue to be underrepresented in the Brexit process.

Analysis of the 12 debates allotted to debate the Withdrawal Act since 4 December 2018 reveal that:

  • 72% of time (3201 minutes) was dedicated to men’s voices
  • This, despite 32% of MPs being women as well as the Prime Minister herself
  • Women MPs – excluding the Prime Minister – spoke for just 26% of time (18.6 of 72 hours.) Including the Prime Minister the figure rises to 28%.

Outside of Westminster, the Brexit debate is also dominated by men’s voices:

  • For same period (4 Dec 2018 – 1 March 2019) men dominated TV broadcast discussion of UK politics: 71% of guests on The Andrew Marr Show, 60% of Peston on Sunday guests and 51% of all Question Time panelists were men.
  • 75% of Political Editors of national daily newspapers listed on the Press Gallery are men.
  • According to the latest available figures from the Press Gallery website, Parliamentary Press Gallery Officers and Lobby Officers, men outnumber women by 6 to 1 (Press Gallery, accessed 6 March 2019.)
  • There is only one woman in the negotiating team sent back and forth from Brussels
  • On the 44 person Leave Means Leave board there is one woman. And seven men called John.

A People’s Vote is the only way to have women’s voices heard in the biggest decision of a generation.

Caroline Criado Perez, writer and feminist activist says:

“Female representation in politics matters. Research from around the world going back decades shows that female politicians are more likely to promote and defend women’s rights. It is simply not acceptable that our voices are being stifled: Brexit is the most important political decision the UK will take for a generation, and all the evidence shows that women will be disproportionately affected, no matter what form it takes. I’ll be marching for a People’s Vote on 23 March because now we know the facts about Brexit, women’s voices must be heard.”

Notes to editors

Speaking time methodology:

Withdrawal Act Speaking time of including Theresa May

Date Women Minutes Men Minutes Total Minutes
1 04-Dec-18 21865 168 43164 332 65029 500
2 05-Dec-18 23040 177 49151 378 72,191 555
3 06-Dec-18 14553 111 59792 460 74345 571
4 10-Dec-18 0 0 203 2 203 2
5 11-Dec-18 2562 20 6278 48 8840 68
6 09-Jan-19 10110 78 57107 439 67217 517
7 10-Jan-19 23620 182 44693 344 68313 526
8 11-Jan-19 13964 107 31,941 246 45,905 353
9 14-Jan-19 19861 153 48257 371 68118 524
10 15-Jan-19 14304 110 40,020 308 54,324 418
11 29-Jan-19 16146 124 34496 265 50642 389
12 30-Jan-19 1119 9 1056 8 2157 17
Total 1239 3201 4440
Hours 20.65 53.35 74
% 28% 72%

 

Speaking time excluding Theresa May

Date Women Minutes Men Minutes Total Minutes
1 04-Dec-18 14649 113 43164 332 57813 445
2 05-Dec-18 23040 177 49151 378 72191 555
3 06-Dec-18 14553 111 59792 460 74345 571
4 10-Dec-18 0 0 203 2 203 2
5 11-Dec-18 2562 20 6278 48 8840 68
6 09-Jan-19 10110 78 57107 439 67217 517
7 10-Jan-19 23620 182 44693 344 68313 526
8 11-Jan-19 13,964 107 31,941 246 45905 353
9 14-Jan-19 19861 153 48257 371 68118 524
10 15-Jan-19 11,540 89 40,020 308 51560 397
11 29-Jan-19 10002 77 34496 265 44498 342
12 30-Jan-19 1119 9 1056 8 2175 17
TOTAL 145020 1116 416158 3201 561178 4317
Hours 18.6 53.35 71.95
% 26% 74%

 

Gender breakdown of key political TV broadcast (4 December 2018 – 1 March 2019)

Methodology: using transcripts of The Andrew Marr Show, Questions Time, Peston on Sunday to count gender of guests.

Men Women Total Men % Women %
Question Time 20 19 39 51.28 48.72
Peston on Sunday 43 28 71 60.56 39.44
Andrew Marr 25 10 35 71.43 28.57