X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Coffee House

Parliament unusually full of women

11 April 2014

11:44 AM

11 April 2014

11:44 AM

It’s quite easy to grow quite used to the way things are, and only realise that they’re a bit odd when there’s a momentary shift. Today Parliament is packed with women, which is a bit of a shock to the system. They’re in New Palace Yard to film scenes from ‘Suffragette’, rather than as part of a new influx of female MPs or journalists. I have to admit that I often don’t notice how masculine this place is: you just get used to it and by and large Parliament is a very pleasant place to work indeed. It was only when a visiting female journalist remarked after the post-PMQs huddle this week that the discussion had been dominated by blokes asking about the gender balance of the new Cabinet that I realised how few women journalists had been present – and how many men. Only 22 per cent of MPs are women, and some research suggests that only 23 per cent of lobby journalists are women.

suffragette2

[Alt-Text]


Ministers spend a great deal of time worrying about this (and in the lobby, we mostly assumed that this would lead to Maria Miller’s replacement as Culture Secretary being a woman and possibly a mother). But some of the things the government does to show that it is taking women’s rights seriously are as much about symbolism as they are about anything else. In my Telegraph column today, I try to work out what it is that the women’s minister actually does, and wonder whether it might be better to absorb the role back into government in general, rather than squirrel it away into a special job that has to cover a multitude of rather disparate issues.

Some MPs and hacks like to argue that more women in Parliament would somehow make it a nicer place. It would make it more balanced and representative, but as the late Clarissa Tan wrote in one of her magnificent TV reviews, women ‘can be as greedy and forceful and dangerous as any man’. But there is something rather poignant that a film about the campaign for the right to vote being set in a building that still contains so few women. Those suffragettes might realistically have hoped for a little more progress.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close