This Wednesday marked 100 years since the passing of the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 2018 which made it possible for women over the age of 21 to stand for Parliament.
A century on, women make up only just over 200 of 650 MPs. That’s why MPs were asked to invite a woman from their constituency to an Ask her to stand event to mark the anniversary.
Christine Jardine asked Emma Walker who, just over a year ago, wasn’t even a member of the Party. She’s made a massive impact in Scotland this year, getting involved in campaigning and member recruitment – and she opened the Autumn Conference in September.
— Emma Walker (@EmmaWalkerCEO) November 21, 2018
Emma talked to Sky News about what had motivated her to get involved:
I started a campaign about maternity discrimination and spoke to my MSP about it when he knocked on my door one day. He backed it and eventually asked me to stand myself.
I was giddy. That ask, particularly from a politician, was just everything I needed.
I didn’t start straight away because I had family matters to deal with and even when I got to my ‘that’s it I’m standing’ moment it was still four months before I joined my local party.
From there I’ve become a candidate for council and I opened the Scottish Liberal Democrat Party conference earlier this year.
I am lucky because I’ve got an MP, an MSP and several councillors in my local party.
But what’s also really helped is support from other women, from a WhatsApp group.
I’m into cross-party support. I get messages from Women’s Equality Party members and from Conservatives.
We may not have Emma now if Alex Cole-Hamilton hadn’t knocked on her door and asked her to get involved. There will be women you know who would make great MPs. Why not invite them to get involved?