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209 Women: New Exhibition Marks 100 Years Of Female MPs

The 21st of November 2018 marked 100 years since the passing of the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act, which allowed women over the age of 21 to serve as Members of Parliament for the first time.

To commemorate this significant moment in the nation’s history, a new exhibition is championing the achievements of women in UK politics while highlighting the ongoing need for greater gender equality throughout all of society.

209 Women, which is on show at Portcullis House until 14 February 2019, features portraits of female MPs, all captured by female photographers. The figure 209 refers to the number of women currently serving as MPs.

The exhibition is a fine tribute to important milestones that saw women given the vote and the right to represent their communities. The portraits depict women who are continuing the efforts of those who came before, and all have been taken by equally talented female photographers (another area that tends to be dominated by men).

However, 209 Women is also a stark reminder of how far we have to go. Parliament is still majority male, and people of colour are noticeably under-represented.

Yet there are a number of high profile exceptions, such as Preet Gill, the first female Sikh MP; Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, who became the first-ever black female MP when she was elected to represent Hackney North & Stoke Newington in 1987; and the Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani, who in 2018 became the first Muslim woman minister to speak from the House of Commons Dispatch box.

We hope the presence of all these women in the 209 Women exhibition will inspire a new generation to contribute to the changing face of politics in this country.

Check out some images from the exhibition below:

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Posted @withrepost • @chromorama So honoured to be part of this amazing exhibition alongside so many super talented photographers. @209women exhibition marks 100 years since women achieved the right to vote in the UK. This is my portrait of Nusrat Ghani MP for Wealden. . From the 14th of December 2018, the 209 portraits of the UK's 209 female MPs will be exhibited at Portcullis House, Westminster, photographed by 209 female photographers. Admission to the exhibition is free. . Thanks so much for the incredible hard work: @hilarywoodportraits @tracyemarshall @cherylnewman1 @lisatse88 @openeyegallery @metroimaging @royalphotographicsociety . . . #womensuffrage #209women #womeninphotography #womeninpolitics #vote100 #portraits #suffrage100 #equalrepresentation #feminism #votesforwomen #London #womenrights

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Posted @withrepost • @maryamwb I think I made it to history today! Me next to my portrait of the lovely @pauline_latham_mp at Portcullis house. First ever exhibition to acknowledge women in parliament in Britain today. I think the most integral part of this incredible exhibition is that this a step closer in making a change in the female gender bias in the photography industry. The wonderful artist of this initiative @hilarywoodportraits , mentioned in her speech today she would like to create a more gender equal work environment for her 2 daughters and this really touched me. I feel that she’s already making that change to many young female artists and photographers, including myself. I have felt incredibly supported as a recent female graduate by wonderful female educators, mentors, artists and the list is endless but especially by being involved in initiatives like @209women . • • Exhibition is open for everyone to see – please visit my website for the link to see it 🙂 • • @royalphotographicsociety @rps100heroines @grain_projects @bjp1854 @hilarywoodportraits @tracyemarshall @cherylnewman1 @metroimaging @openeyegallery #hilarywood #hilarywoodportraits #209women #bjp #britishjournalofphotography #rps #royalphotographicsociety #rps100heroines #mp #britain #greatbritain #memberofparliment #femaleempowerment #openeyegallery #mp #membersofparliment #parliment #paulinelathamobemp

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Posted @withrepost • @celinemarchbank Thanks to @ukparliament for sharing my @209women portrait of MP @marshadecordova #209women #exhibition #Ukparliament #portraors #femaleMPs #portcullishouse #housesofparliament — — — — — #Repost @ukparliament with @get_repost ・・・ Only 32% of MPs are women, despite women making up 51% of the UK population. Why is this? The @209women exhibition takes place 100 years after the first women voted for the first time in a general election, and the first time that a female MP was elected. 209 female photographers captured portraits of the 209 women MPs for this exhibition on female representation in Parliament and throughout UK society. Want to see more of these striking portraits up close? Book your free ticket to view the exhibition in Portcullis House by visiting www.parliament.uk/visit and selecting 209 Women in our ticket booking area, or swiping up in our Story. 📷:@celinemarchbank #portraitphotography #portrait #portraitmood #209women #UKParliament #photographyoftheday #womensupportingwomen

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Posted @withrepost • @wendycarrigphotography Until recently visitors to #portcullishouse asked why there were no portraits of #womenMPs? So #209women photographers photographed them all to celebrate 100 years since women were allowed to vote and the first women MP was elected! I photographed Dr.Rosena Allin-Khan MP for #Tooting The shadow #ministerforsport ended our #photoshoot with a series of spontaneous #starjumps before dashing across London to continue her work as a #medicaldoctor at #stgeorgeshospital A&E… . . @209women #portraitphotography #portcullishouse #housesofparliament #drrosenaallinkhan #scrubs @uklabour #makeupartist @francesprescottmakeup #photographersassistant @julesestewart #photographer #wendycarrig @arcreativeagency With massive thanks to @hilarywoodportraits for leading this #arts initiative A worthy #photographyexhibition that I am very proud to be a part of. And more thanks to the super talented @lindabrownlee for the portrait of me. Thank you Linda X

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209 Women runs until 14 February 2019 at Portcullis House. Free tickets are available on the Parliament website.

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