7 Laws We Have Because Of Female MPs

female mps

by Georgia Aspinall |
Published on

Men might have been the ones to give us the right to vote, but since we became politically active women have been at the forefront of pushing important gender-based issues. As we celebrate 100 years since some women were given the right to vote (only those over 30 with certain property qualifications, all of us got it in 1928) it’s integral to show how far we’ve come and commemorate the women who’ve kept fighting for our rights ever since. Check out these integral laws, none of which would have been possible without having women in parliament…

Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Bill 2004

The General Committees scrutinise proposed legislation and enable it to be passed as a bill. Vera Baird, who was honoured last year for her services for women and working towards equality, was one on the committee that looked into the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Bill. It changed the laws around domestic violence in multiple ways, notably making common assault arrestable - allowing police to arrest on the scene of a crime where they were previously compelled to leave and subsequently leave women in danger.

Equal Pay Act 1970

We may still have a gender pay gap, but without the legislation to ensure it’s considered illegal there would be no grounds to even fight this on. It was thanks to Labour MP Barbara Castle – who passed away in 2002) that we ever had equal pay taken seriously. She was the longest serving female MP in history until 2007 when Gwyneth Dunwoody took that top spot. Her career spanned 34 years, a true modern-day suffragette.

Transport Act 1968

Another of Barbara Castle’s gems, this act introduced government subsidies for railways that were unprofitable but necessary for social inclusion. As transport minister, she also made it illegal for cars not to be fitted with seatbelts, clearly saving hundreds of thousands of lives.

Equality Act 2010

Wrote by Polly Toynbee under the guidance of Harriet Harman, this act brought together a number of discrimination laws (Equal Pay Act 1970, Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Relations Act 1976, Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006.) It enforces equal treatment in access to employment, public and private services regardless of gender, age, disability, marriage or civil partnership, race, religion, sex and sexual orientation as well as gender reassignment.

Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003

With FGM still being practiced globally, and almost 10,000 cases reported in the UK alone last year, this act was a necessity. While FGM was already illegal in the UK, this act made it so that women and girls couldn’t be taken outside the UK to have the procedure. Pushed by Baroness Ruth Rendell, it also increased the maximum penalty from five to 14 years.

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013

While everyone was skeptical of the coalition government in 2010, it was great news that Liberal Democrat Minister for Equalities Lynne Featherstone. In September 2011, she announced a government consultation on introducing civil marriage for same sex couples in England and Wales, and was instrumental in it being passed in 2013.

Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence Act 2017

Pushed for by Theresa May, this act has stopped victims being interrogated by abusers in court and reduces the ability of police to treat domestic violence cases inconsistently. May backed the fight against domestic violence when she was Home Secretary stating that ‘domestic violence and abuse is a life-shattering and absolutely abhorrent crime’

Check out the women fighting gender injustice online...


Inspirational Instagram Accounts You Should Follow

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Women In Comics

Illustrating inspirational images and depicting women in comic form, this account will brighten up your timeline with some home truths in the form of pretty pictures.

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Adwoa Aboah

This insanely beautiful model founded GURLS TALK, an online community where women from all backgrounds can share their personal experiences in a safe space.

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Alicia Garza

Alicia is an editor and activist who co-created #BlackLivesMatter. Her feed is a mixture of relatable memes, unfiltered selfies and educational posts to keep you woke.

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Amandla Stenberg

You might recognise this actor from The Hunger Games, when she played the character only character we cried endless tears for, Rue. Now, while still acting, she's a full-fledged activist posting about everything gender, feminism and black culture.

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Amani created the fast-growing activism account @MuslimGirl, another one you should definitely follow. She has spoken across the world about Muslim women and posts everything from badass selfies to stats you need to know.

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Amber Amour

Amber created @CreatingConsentCulture which aims to educate people on rape culture and support rape and sexual assault survivors. She's also outspoken about racism and sex work, her feed will be endless many dinner party talking points.

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Amber Rose

You may only know Amber Rose as Kanye's ex, but think again. Amber is a sex positivity icon, with her own pocast 'Loveline with Amber Rose' up until 2018 that aimed to promote healthy sexual relationships and self-love. If you can get past the fact she advertised flat tummy tea once (fgs Amber), you'll love her feminism-filled feed.

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Beverly Bond

Author of 'Black Girls Rock', Beverly's posts will have you both inspired and enraged, filled with commentary on everyday injustices.

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Bree Newsome

You may recognise Bree as the activist who took down the confederate flag from a flagpole outside the South Carolina Capitol building. She's continuing her activism with inspiring art you need to see.

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Cameron Russell

An american model who called out the fashion industry for sexual harassment and assault, she started the #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse hashtag. Her instagram is full of inspiring stories and educational videos exposing different injustices within her industry and beyond.

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Iskra Lawrence

If your not already following Iskra, your living under an Instagram rock. The body positive model started her own business, everyBODY with Iskra, to give health and fitness advice beyond just getting super skinny. You need her body posi vibes in your life.

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Another super body positive account to follow, Jessamyn is a yoga teacher regularly posting about the emotional and physical benefits of body positivity and practicing yoga.

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Joanna Thangiah

Shun your timeline of filtered selfies and over exposed holiday destinations. It's time for some feminist, mental health aware art! This account is amazing for cute cartoons that say everything we're already feeling.

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Judy Reyes

You'll probably remember Judy as Carla from Scrubs, or one of the other thousand TV show she's been in throughout her insanely successful career. Unlike most Hollywood actors, her Insta is full of activism and news you need to know.

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Logan Browning

Activist and actor, Logan Browning is the lead of Netflix hit Dear White People. Posting powerful content and links to charities you can donate to so you can turn your online activism into action- she's a force to be reckoned with.

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Makers Women

MAKERS is a storytelling platform for women, posting quotes to keep you inspired throughout the day. Stay up to date with gender injustice, while also feeling hopeful with the powerful words these amazing women have to say.

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Nimisha Bhanot

Another artist you need to follow, Nimisha creates amazing prints (which you can buy) critiquing societal perceptions of South Asian women. She's based in Canada, but these prints can brighten up your timeline anywhere.

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Muslim Girl

Muslim Girl, where 'muslim women talk back' is an account ran by Amani. Advocating for issues facing muslim women, both accounts are an inspiration and necessity on your feed.

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Project Consent

There's no time like the present to be educating people on consent. This account does exactly that, and gives you the perfect explanations, comebacks and reminders to throw out at a dinner party if the issue comes up.

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Rowan Blanchard

Gone are the days of Disney stars going off the rails, this actor and activist is a beacon of positivity- especially online. Fighting gender and race injustice and beyond, she's one to watch.

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Rupi Kaur

Rupi made headlines in 2015 when she posted pictures of her on Instagram with visible menstrual blood. Her posts were blocked by Instagram, causing backlash against the social media platform. She continues to break boundaries with her writing and poetry.

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Sophie King

This UK based embroidery artist is an up-and-coming star, embroidering feminist slogans onto everything from bras to roses. Bring her insta to life with her slogan t-shirts, or just stare at the pretty pictures, either way she's someone you should follow.

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The Vulva Gallery

Our favourite of all the accounts, the vulva gallery promotes self-love in an area SO often ignored. With two-thirds of women avoiding smear tests, life-saving procedures, because of the look of their vagina, it's time we stopped all of the self-loathing around genitals. Providing a regular reminder that all vaginas are beautiful, if you only follow one account of this list, it should be this one.

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Trash Is For Tossers

Lauren Singer lives an entirely waste-free life. Yes, you can actually do that. As #plasticfree takes over our news feed, it's time you had some daily advice on how exactly to reduce your waste. Save the planet!

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