50:50 Parliament's Mission
To achieve an inclusive gender-balanced parliament, that draws upon the widest possible pools of talent, including men and women equally, incorporating their full range of diversity and experience.
50:50 Parliament drives this mission by encouraging, inspiring and supporting political engagement, particularly from women. In addition, 50:50 Parliament lobbies Parliament and the political parties to be more inclusive of women.
50:50 Parliament was founded in November 2013 by Frances Scott. At that point men outnumbered women 3:1 in Parliament. The institution did not look representative or inclusive; it was lacking women’s experience and talent. Frances felt that this needed to be addressed and started the 50:50 petition at change.org/5050Parliament. This called upon Parliament and political party leaders to do something to ensure a better gender balance at Westminster.
Now over 52,000 people have signed the petition. All the main political parties agree that a gender balanced Parliament consisting of around 50% men and 50% women would be more representative and better informed. Since then, The Women and Equalities Select Committee has been set up, and more recently The Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion has been created to examine working practices to ensure that they become more accessible.
50:50 launched the #AskHerToStand campaign in November 2016 and succeeded in inspiring and encouraging women to stand for election and gain seats in Parliament during the 2017 election. This campaign will continue until we have gender balance at Westminster.
Meet the Team
Frances founded 50:50 Parliament in 2013, being a passionate advocate for better gender balance in Parliament. She has campaigned hard to address this issue from organising events to providing submissions to select committees. When speaking for 50:50 in Canterbury she inspired Rosie Duffield to stand. Rosie then went on to be one of the 12 extra women elected to Parliament in 2017. This was the start of 50:50’s Ask Her To Stand campaign to encourage women along the pathway to Parliament.
Frances is an antenatal teacher with the NCT and has helped support thousands of parents through pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. She has sat on the Maternity Services Action Committee at St Mary’s Hospital.
Prior to having a family she had an international career in the hotel and tourism industry. She was involved in conducting economic, marketing and operations analysis throughout Europe and Asia. She was the first woman to be appointed to several of the roles she held in business.
Mojo Abidi was inspired to join the 50:50 team after attending the #AskHerToStand event in Parliament in December 2017. She is passionate about encouraging more women into politics and is proud to be a part of this fantastic initiative.
Mojo is a Production Journalist with ITV News Central and is based in Birmingham. She recently graduated from the University of Sheffield but was born and raised in Hong Kong.
Sonia Adesara is an NHS doctor and a passionate campaigner for equality and women’s rights. She is co-chair of the young Medical Women International Association, campaigning for gender equality within her profession. She has seen how women’s health, and women’s experiences with services, is often not prioritized by our policymakers.
She is the communications officer for Doctors for Choice UK, which calls for reform of the 50-year-old abortion act that criminalizes women and obstructs professionals from providing optimum care. She is a committee member of Campaign4Contraception, campaigning against cuts to contraceptive and women’s health services.
She has an interest in health policy and is chair of the Health network of the young Fabian Society. Sonia believes that the impact of policies on women, particularly ethnic minority and disadvantaged women, is often not considered by our politicians. Sonia firmly believes we need a more diverse parliament, truly representative of our diverse society, to ensure the lives and experiences of all women are prioritized.
Laura has been a huge fan of the 50:50 campaign for many years and has joined rallies and events alongside the powerful movement. She also runs the End Tampon Tax campaign which successfully lobbied for an axing of the sexist 5% levy with over 320,000 supporters and achieved unprecedented change to both EU and UK taxation legislation.
She sat on the BBC's 100 Women steering committee of 2017, was named one of Cosmopolitan Magazine's social change agents of 2018 and is currently a postgraduate student at St Catherine's College, University of Oxford. She hopes to see more women in parliament so that androcentric laws like tampon tax do not happen again. Period!
Dolly Theis has been involved with 50:50 Parliament since 2013. Last year, she co-founded the Ask Her To Stand campaign with the aim of inspiring and encouraging more women into UK politics.
Dolly stood as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Vauxhall in the 2017 general election. She is currently completing her MPhil in Public Health and Epidemiology at the University of Cambridge. Prior to that, she spent two years leading research on childhood obesity at the Centre for Social Justice Think Tank in Westminster. Her report "Off the Scales: England's childhood obesity crisis" was published in December 2017.
Dolly is also Ambassador of Forward Assist, a military veterans charity in the North East and Director of the Cube Movement, a social network campaign that helps raise awareness about and money for victims of human trafficking.
Dowshan Humzah has been involved with 50:50 Parliament since late 2014. He has brought his business sector experience and passion for social mobility and gender equality to the campaign.
Dowshan is a business transformation and digital specialist, as well as a former director of two blue-chip companies. He has a portfolio career and holds a number of board directorships. His own highly-different background informs his passion and work for 'access to opportunity'.
Tech & Digital
Brian joined the 50:50 Parliament campaign in 2015, helping out with data management. Over time the role has grown to include all things tech and digital for the campaign.
He also volunteers for Let Toys Be Toys, the GREAT Men project, and DataKind. When not supporting campaigns and charities, Brian has been a programmer, data warehouse designer, website development project manager, and founder of an ethical retail tech startup.