The Parliament Project came to Portsmouth to host a workshop to educate women on their own political pathway. To encourage us females to stand and involve themselves in politics. As women remain the minority in Parliament. Workshops like these are great ways to show females standing for local roles or even national can be achieved. I wanted to share my journey to politics and my experience with attending this workshop. Maybe it will inspire you to attend one in your own city.
As a current student of Politics and International Relations, you would think I have had years of political knowledge. However, I went into my undergraduate degree having only sociological & geographical knowledge. I was one of a few who started in first year with no formal political education. This was something I felt was a disadvantage so I threw myself into learning and doing extra so I could keep up.
Now at the end of my second year, I’m passing with a first. It is crazy how much I have changed from first year to the end of second year. It has shown me how hard work truly pays off. That if you want something enough you will work towards it. If you’re like me and have a passion for a subject but have had no formal education in that field, it is possible to succeed with hard work. You can do anything you set your mind too, and the Parliament Project workshop shows you this.
The Political Pathway
The Parliament Project was established two years ago “to inspire, empower and encourage women to run for political office in the UK”. Focusing on practical training and support. Running workshops to demystify the process for women wanting to get involved in politics. Its aim is to create a groundswell of women entering political parties. To ultimately achieve 51% female representation in politics. I saw the workshop advertised on Facebook a few weeks before the event. Being a student I wanted to attend the workshop to understand what running truly means.
I have increased my political involvement during my university life. Through eco society campaigns, meetings and becoming a political officer within the student union. But having anxiety I never thought I would want to take politics any further than a degree. I had decided that I wanted to work within sustainability, making businesses and organisations more environmentally friendly.
This last time year, if you had told me I would be a president of a society, organising events and attending more political activities and events. I probably would’ve had a breakdown and cried. I never imagined I could be a leader. But, I’ve grown so much professionally and personally. I’ve learnt so many new skills that will help me in a future career. And now maybe even in pursuing a political one.
From attending the workshop, I learnt about the disproportion of women to men in politics. Why do women have less representation in politics? I wouldn’t class myself as a hardcore feminist but this is something I believe needs to change. With the UK in political turmoil never has there been a better time to change politics. To even have more women leading decisions, I mean Beyoncé did say once that girls run the world. It would be amazing to see that happen.
Some of us in this current climate are sick of politics and want to wash our hands of the system. But this is such a dangerous mindset to have. It is the most critical time to be more involved in politics at any level. We also can’t pretend that we are not already involved. Do you wear your seatbelt in the car? Probably. Do you make sure you take your children to school? Again probably. And do you recycle according to your local council? I would hope so! All these things in our daily lives are controlled by politics and policy. Therefore, politics affects us daily and we should be intrigued by the governmental processes.
Politics is a part of our everyday life!
Therefore, it’s important to take pride in the fact you’ve the opportunity to make changes in the country’s political system. Whether that be simply going out to vote for the first time or joining a political party. Whatever makes you feel involved that is the perfect way to show you care.
For me, studying politics and learning more about the system has intrigued me to get more involved in the issues I feel passionately about. I have attended protests, written to MPs and joined Greenpeace’s political network to voice the need for more sustainable policies. My grandad enjoys calling me for political debates on new stories unfolding in politics because we have differencing opinions. It’s always great fun to learn how others think. My next step is to officially join the Green Party. What is your political involvement?
The pathway project is a great tool to see if running for a political position is the right one for you. Or even just confirm the path your already on. We took a tour of Portsmouth council chambers, then went into the workshop. Where we learnt about the roles in politics, at local and national levels. We had to make a pledge as to what we wanted to achieve in our political journeys. It was an interesting experience, meeting other ladies already in the field or just starting their local campaign. Either way I would definitely recommend attending a workshop if one in your area pops up.