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100 years since women allowed to vote, Christian leaders call for more progress

by Tola Mbakwe

Labour MP Rachael Maskell and Rt Rev Sarah Mullally, the newly appointed Bishop of London, spoke with Premier on the 100th anniversary of Representation Of The People Act, in which some women first won the right to vote in the UK.

Bishop Sarah, who published a blog on Tuesday to mark the centenary of the law, told Premier's News Hour about what the day meant to her.

"I know that I wouldn't be in the position I am today if it wasn't for those woman.

"My grandmother spoke to me about her recollection of winning the vote all those years ago and she put the confidence into me that made me believe that I could do anything."

Bishop Sarah, who's currently the Bishop of Crediton, is the first female to be chosen as the Bishop of London.

Bishop Sarah Mullally

She told Premier while the Church has made strides in equality for women, there's still work to be done.

"I'm very aware coming into London there are only 13 per cent of incumbents that are women. I'd like to see more women reflecting the community in which they operate.

"Historically there have been challenges, but the heart of the Gospel is this sense the Jesus values us all equally.

"Certainly today that's at the heart of the Gospel I see preached and taught and demonstrated in the Church."

Maskell echoed Bishop Sarah's thoughts. She pointed out that only a third of MPs are women.

"There are people in society still not being heard in parliament. We are not anywhere near 50/50... we still have massive milestones to reach," she said.

Maskell, who is the MP of Central York called for an end to the objectification of women and said she wanted to ensure women have dignity in society.

Bishop Sarah also used the popularity of the #Metoo movement to demonstrate why society must change.

However, Maskell is hopeful that the current state of gender equality will improve.

"I'm sure we'll be back in ten years' time to celebrate extending the franchise," she said.

To listen to the whole interview with Dame Sarah Mulllally speaking to Premier's Cara Bentley, click here:

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