With only 32 per cent of Member of the House of Commons being women, there is still a heavy imbalance between the genders in this sector. But what women are still lacking in representation in Parliament they have made up for in hard work, with a number of female politicians pushing for new laws to be enforced to better serve society. Here with medical negligence claims experts, True Solicitors, we explore these further:
The Transport Act 1968 — Barbara Castle
As Minister of Transport between 1965 and 1968, Barbara Castle was one of the most prominent female politicians of her time. Ironically, Castle could not drive and this was something that other politicians would poke fun at — questioning her ability to make informative decisions on transportation matters in Parliament. One of her most memorable achievements, however, was passing legislation that meant that every new car would need to be fitted with seatbelts. This piece of legislation is something that Castle was extremely proud of and clearly saved a lot of lives when it came into action in 1983 for front-seat passengers, although it took until 1989 for rear-seat passengers. According to THINK!, you’re twice as likely to die in a car accident if you’re not wearing a seatbelt.
Castle’s achievements don’t end there. Other monumental implementations that were made by Castle were the breathalyser, after the drink-driving crisis grew in the UK, as well as the permanent 70MPH speed limit on motorways.
Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence Act 2017 — Theresa May
Now Prime Minister, previous Home Secretary Theresa May was an avid supporter of ending violence against British women. This piece of legislation has stopped victims being interrogated by abusers in court and reduces the risk of policing authorities dealing inconsistently with such cases.
Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 — Baroness Rendell of Babergh
There are 137,000 women across England and Wales who are impacted by the horrors of female genital mutilation, says the NSPCC. The legislation was introduced by Baroness Rendell of Babergh within the House of Lords Bill 1998. Although it was illegal at the time, this act made it illegal for UK nationals to perform FGM outside of the UK borders — the penalty for doing so increased from 5 to 14 years imprisonment.
Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act – Lynne Featherstone
Government statistics show that one in every 100 UK people identify as homosexual. Lynne Featherstone put this at the top of her agenda when she was the Liberal Democrat Minister for Equalities during the 2010 coalition government. With her encouragement, the government announced that it would carry out a consultation into how to introduce civil marriages for same-sex couples, which was a big change in British politics. This legislation was passed in January 2013 and would have not been possible without Featherstone’s stance and determination.
Domestic, Crime and Victims Bill 2004 — Vera Baird
Vera Baird was an important figure within the Labour party between 2001 and 2010. More recently, Baird recognised for her efforts for bringing awareness to domestic violence in the UK. Once this legislation was passed, she constantly worked around it to ensure that it covered all areas — which led to common assault becoming arrestable, which allowed police to arrest at the scene of the crime.