Sunday, May 1, 2022

The #MeToo moment in Westminster: "Parliament is still running like an old men's club"

 Women MPs from across the political spectrum have spoken out against "institutionalised sexism" in the UK Parliament.

British Members of Parliament said "enough".

Two incidents in less than a week – the accusation against Labour's Angela Rayner of crossing and uncrossing her legs to the "Basic Instinct" and the resignation of Conservative Neil Parish for watching porn on his mobile in the seats – have provoked something like the moment #MeToo in Westminster.

Source: AP

Five parliamentarians from all political backgrounds have raised their voices against "institutionalized sexism" in the British Parliament and against the lack of resources to recognize and address the problem.

"Parliament still functions like a club of elderly men," says conservative Caroline Nokes, who heads the equality committee.

She added that It is generally perceived that women are tolerated but not valued.

She lamented that the use of misogynistic nicknames to cast aspersions on us or references to our clothing.

She said that a colleague was compared to a prostitute for wearing a skirt.

A recent report showed that 56 MPs were referred to the complaints committee in Parliament for harassment and misogyny.

This number is shocking.

The names have not yet been released, nor have the course of investigations or disciplinary actions.

"We are facing a toxic mix of stress, alcohol, testosterone and power," witnesses the conservative Anne Jenkin.

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