Peterborough MP features in new exhibition celebrating centenary of women getting the vote

Fiona Onasanya
Fiona Onasanya
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Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya features in a new exhibition telling the story of women's fight for votes.

Miss Onasanya recorded a video message for the Voice and Vote: Women’s Place in Parliament exhibition, which marks the centenary of some women getting the right to vote.

The exhibition is being held in Westminster Hall and uses interactive features and historic exhibits to tell the hidden “her-story” of the UK Parliament: the campaigning, the protests and the achievements. It is also examining where we are today and how anyone can make change happen.

Among the items in this innovative exhibition are re-creations of lost historical spaces of the Palace of Westminster, rare and previously unseen historic objects, pictures and archives from the Parliamentary collections and elsewhere.

A number of current MPs have recorded personal and revealing interviews talking about their passion for women’s equality and political interests which are shown on TV screens as part of the exhibition.

Fiona Onasanya MP, Peterborough, said in her video message: "Balance is an interesting question! I’ve actually compared this role to spinning plates whilst riding a unicycle. I think that it has helped that I am a single individual with no family commitments. I do question how people with children manage to juggle this, as I work between 80 to 120 hours a week. So often it’s an 18 hour day which can be quite gruelling.

"When I first came into Parliament, the interesting balance is between Parliament and your constituency, because you’re expected to be here and also represent those that you live amongst in your constituency and you need to be seen there so that they understand that you’re approachable and they can engage with you.

"I am known for the fact that I like acronyms, so I call myself “MPFI”; and I say it’s an acronym for “Making People Feel Inspired”. And one of the things I say in my constituency is: rather than get mad, be mad, be making a difference. And so what I seek to do with their issues is bring them to Parliament and make that difference by actually raising, not only the profile of their concerns or complaints, but actually saying “look, as your Member of Parliament, the whole purpose of me being in this role is to take forward the concerns that you have, and actually where you might have to jump through hoops to get your voice heard, I can be your voice in this place”.

This major free exhibition in Westminster Hall runs until 6 October 2018. Book tickets on Parliament’s website: https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/vote-100/voice-and-vote/