Parliament to introduce Women and Equalities Select Committee

The Government is to introduce a new Parliamentary Select Committee dedicated to Women and Equalities issues.

Select Committees provide important oversight and scrutiny on government work in areas – but until now, there has been no one committee with oversight of government equalities work.

However, following sustained campaigning from a number of MPs – including a report from the All Party Parliamentary Group for Women in Parliament – the Government has agreed to introduce a Commons equalities committee for the first time.

A motion is expected to be moved in the Commons this week to formally establish the Select Committee.


According to Politics Home, as part of the division of select committee roles between the parties, a Tory MP will chair the committee.


Mary Macleod, the former Tory MP for Brentford and Isleworth who led cross-party calls for the committee, said: “I am delighted to hear that the Government is making women a priority for this Parliament.

“Women and Equalities is one of the very few departments that doesn’t already have a Select Committee so we need a dedicated committee to hold Government to account on all equality issues.

“It’s especially great to see the APPG’s hard work breaking ground just weeks after more women took up their seats in Parliament than ever before.

“Women now make up just over 29% of the House of Commons and there are 21 more Conservative female MPs.”

It comes after David Cameron appointed Caroline Dinenage, who said in 2013 that the “state has no right” to redefine the meaning of marriage, as a junior equalities minister.

Both the department’s ministers – Ms Dinenage and Nicky Morgan – voted against same-sex marriage, though Ms Morgan told PinkNews last year that she has changed her mind.