Region's MPs have their say in debate to mark International Women's Day

The debate saw labour MP Jess Phillips read a list of 120 women killed by men

MPs from across the region have been taking part in a special debate to mark International Women's Day.

Among the topics discussed were how to improve the safety of women and how to promote greater equality.

The debate was given extra poignancy following the murder of Sarah Everard.

Today Labour MP Jess Phillips told the house that Dead women is something society has "just accepted as part of our daily lives", as she read out the names of 120 women killed in the UK where a man has been convicted or charged as the primary perpetrator.

After finishing the list, Ms Phillips added people had "prayed that the name of Sarah Everard would never be on any list" and urged everyone to work to ensure "nobody's name ends up on this list again".

Labour MP Jess Phillips addresses the House of Commons Credit: PA

Since being elected in 2015, Ms Phillips has carried out the task of reading out the names of victims during the annual International Women's Day debate.

Former Commons leader Andrea Leadsom Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Northamptonshire Conservative former minister Andrea Leadsom called for cross party support to do more to protect the lives of women and girls.

Sir Bernard Jenkin, Conservative MP Sir Bernard Jenkin (Harwich and North Essex) called for further action in increasing the number of female MPs.

Sir Bernard, who chairs the Liaison Committee, said:

Sir Bernard Jenkin: Wants more female MPs

He continued: "We need a political settlement in which it's impossible for decisions to be made which fail to recognise that while men and women are equal, we have very different life experiences, which means we need more women in the room when decisions are being formed.

"Look at this Covid crisis and how disadvantaged women have been in this Covid crisis, and how much do we think the Government has been able to recognise that. If we want more women ministers, I say to my colleagues on this side of the House we need more women MPs.

"I was tasked by David Cameron when he first became leader to increase the number of women candidates who could win Conservative seats. Up until 2010, we only had 9% of women on the Conservative benches. When Theresa May was first elected to this House, she was one of only 13 women Conservative members, at the same time as the Labour Party had 101.

"Today, we still only have 25% and I'm very proud of that rapid improvement, but that's not enough. Can I just point out to my male colleagues, half the population are women."

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