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Women made history at the 2019 UK election

The UK is waking up to the biggest Conservative majority since Margaret Thatcher’s 1987 victory after a historic general election. 

Not everyone will be celebrating that notable victory but it’s worth pointing out that history was made in another, very significant way. More women MPs than ever before have been elected to the House of Commons. 

A record 220 MPs were elected at the 2019 election, beating the previous record of 208. 

Almost two-thirds of seats are still represented by men, meaning we’re a long way off 50:50 gender parity in the House of Commons. The new record means the proportion of female MPs now stands at 34 percent. Per the Guardian, this is this “highest portion of either chamber in parliament to date.” 

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott speaking at a rally at Hoxton Docks in London, while on the General Election campaign trail.

Image: Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images

An important caveat: only a quarter of Conservative MPs (of which there are 364) are female. Labour, meanwhile, now has more female MPs than male: the total number being a record 104 MPs out of 203.

Jo Swinson, leader of the Liberal Democrats, lost her seat to the Scottish National Party (SNP). The Liberal Democrats has the highest percentage of female MPs at 64 percent, but in actual numbers, that amounts to a mere seven MPs. 

The historic moment might be a small step in the right direction, but it’s worth celebrating.