How does Tynwald compare?
The early enfranchisement of women in the Isle of Man has not translated directly into proportional parliamentary representation. There have been relatively few women Members of Tynwald to date—though this may now be beginning to change.
In the Keys
Women have been able to stand for election to the House of Keys since 1919, when universal suffrage was introduced. To date, there have been 17 women elected to the House of Keys.
When Lord Lisvane conducted his Review of the Functioning of Tynwald in 2016, only two of the Members of Tynwald were women. Lord Lisvane concluded that ‘this is an issue of such importance that both Tynwald and civil society need to address it with energy — in the first instance before nominations close of 24th August for the General Election on 22nd September’.
At the 2016 General Election, 13 of the 63 candidates were women. Five of those women candidates were returned as Members of the House of Keys: Kate Beecroft (Douglas South), Clare Bettison (Douglas East), Daphne Caine (Garff), Ann Corlett (Douglas Central), and Julie Edge (Onchan). This means that the current House has the highest proportion of women Members to date, at 21%.
In the Council
Women have also been able to stand for election to the Legislative Council since 1919, when the Constitution Act provided for four persons to be elected to the Council by the House of Keys. To date, there have been 8 women elected to the Legislative Council.
Five of these women were elected in the last two years. In May 2017, Jane-Poole Wilson became the first woman to be elected to the Council who had not previously served as an MHK. In March 2018, Mrs Poole-Wilson was re-elected, along with four other women: Tanya August-Hanson, Marlene Hendy, Kate Lord-Brennan, and Kerry Sharpe. At the 2018 Legislative Council election, 9 of the 15 candidates were women.
Comparison with other jurisdictions as of July 2018