Female MPs Suffer Horrific Levels Of Abuse, Reveals Survey

From sexist comments at work to online death threats, a group of female MPs have spoken honestly about the hardships they face on a daily basis to do their jobs


Earlier this week, a photo of Donald Trump signing an executive order to defund reproductive health services, surrounded by a group of his white male Cabinet, prompted anger across the globe.

The question on everyone's lips – other than 'who let allowed this nincompoop to have power of the access contraceptive services and supplies – was, 'where are the women?'

As the Guardian writer Martin Belam tweeted, 'As long as you live you will never see a photograph of seven women signing legislation that defines and controls what men can do with their reproductive organs.'


So, it comes with great sadness that a shocking majority of female MPs have admitted to receiving a barrage of online and verbal abuse from the public, with a third revealing they even considered quitting their jobs as a result, according to the BBC.

In a BBC Radio 5 Live survey, conducted last month, involving more than a third of the UK's 195 female MPs, research found more than half of the women questioned admitted to having received physical threats.


Of these, two thirds revealed they felt 'less safe' following the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox last summer by far-right organisation member, Thomas Mair.

The anonymous survey included comments such as 'at times I have been very frightened' and 'had to phone the police once, [after] a constituent threatened to kill me', with one research participant admitting they felt they received 'absolutely zero' support from Parliament or her party.

With concerns for their families' safety, many questioned whether they should give up their role in Parliament entirely.

'The feeling of not being able to protect my children was unexpected, as was having panic buttons fitted,' admitted one MP.


Regarding women's participation in Parliament, more than half of those surveyed also revealed to being in favour of all-female shortlists, with almost 50 per cent wanting an clampdown on 'unprofessional or sexist' language among their peers.

A staggering two-thirds of the women questioned revealed they had received sexist comments from fellow workers, with some telling them they should be 'in the kitchen washing the dishes', while others revealed they had even experienced sexual assault.

When questioned about the effect of a possble increased number of women in Parliament, two-thirds admitted they thought it would result in government making better decisions.

The feeling of not being able to protect my children was unexpected, as was having panic buttons fitted

One commented that 'less time would be wasted. Too much hot air from men' while another said there would be 'less time wasted on posturing and debate for the sake of debate'.

However, with concerns over family life and childcare, the survey revealed that the idea of breastfeeding was widely rejected among the women.

One MP said: 'I wouldn't breastfeed my baby if I worked on the checkout at Tesco, so why would I do it in the chamber?'

Meanwhile, other MPs admitted long-distance travel, irregular hours and late meetings regularly presented a problem for the careers and work/life balance.

Despite the backlash from the public, threats to their safety and lack of support from their colleagues, the majority revealed they wouldn't give up the fight to make their voice heard and influence recognised.

One respondent commented: 'Of course – don't let the buggers win.'

Too right.

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