TWO Dudley women visited the corridors of power in Westminster as part of a national initiative to encourage more women to take part in politics.

Zaqirah Mughal and Natalie Cutler shadowed Ian Austin MP for the day in celebration of the centenary of the Qualification of Women Act. Passed days after the Armistice in November 1918, the Act allowed women to stand for election for the first time.

Zaqirah and Natalie watched Prime Minster's Questions and took part in workshops to get a taste of life in political office.

Mr Austin said: “We need more women to stand for public office. At all levels in politics, from the grassroots to Westminster, we have two men for every one woman. I hope today inspires great women like Zaqirah and Natalie to stand for election to give us all broader and more representative decision making.”

Since the Act was passed in 1918, 491 women MPs have served in Parliament compared to 4503 men.

The day was organised by Frances Scott, 50:50 Parliament, Helen Pankhurst and the Centenary Action Group, the Fawcett Society and the Jo Cox Foundation.