Helena Aksamit-Hollingworth from Ripon Grammar School and Helen Winpenny from Craven College both joined Mr Smith in Parliament on March 8th to take part in a number of workshops and events to mark the occasion. The students watched the Women and Equalities Select Committee, took part in a 50:50 representation workshop, watched a cross party panel debate, were given a tour of No. 10 Downing Street and joined the MP in his office for a discussion on how to make politics more accessible for women.
International Women’s Day in Parliament aims to inspire young women from all walks of life to get involved in politics and public service. Helena, who is about to embark on a gap year before studying French and Russian at University, asked Julian about how politics can be made more accessible for women. Helen discussed her role as President of Craven College’s Student Union and the campaigns that she has been involved in such as ‘I Heart Consent’ which promotes sexual consent awareness among students.
Julian Smith MP said:
It was wonderful to see two such dynamic students from my constituency in Parliament for International Women’s Day. I hope that they gained a real insight into both the work that I do in Parliament, as well as the more general work that MP’s are doing across the political spectrum to try and encourage more women into Politics and achieve parity in other industries such as technology, business and financial services. Female MPs make up 29% of the House of Commons, but there is still much further to go until we see a fair and equal Parliament. I look forward to working with colleagues to correct this in years to come.