On 23 June 1801, a woman called Jane Campbell divorced her husband Edward Addison by Act of Parliament, and became the first woman to obtain a Parliamentary divorce. Dr Mari Takayanagi, Senior Archivist at the Parliamentary Archives and joint Project Manager for Vote 100, discusses how this came about, the significance of the case, and... Continue Reading →
The first woman to sit for a Scottish seat was Katherine, Duchess of Atholl, elected on 6 December 1923. The first for Wales was Lady Megan Lloyd George, elected on 30 May 1919. However, Northern Ireland had to wait until 15 April 1953 for a woman to hold a seat there, and this was Patricia... Continue Reading →
We are grateful to Dr Dana Mills for this interesting blog reflecting on Mary Wollstonecraft’s ideas on political equality and their continuing relevance. She discusses a Vote100 favourite ‘the ventilator’ an area we would love to know more about, particularly first-hand accounts by women who visited it, so please do let us know if you come... Continue Reading →
Welcome to New Dawn artist Mary Branson’s Artist-in-Residence diary. New Dawn is a light sculpture commemorating the campaign for votes for women in Parliament. Unveiled in June 2016, it is part of the Parliamentary Art Collection. The artwork developed from Mary’s period as Artist-in-Residence to Women’s Suffrage in the Houses of Parliament in 2014. During... Continue Reading →
Reblogged on WordPress.com Source: Marriage, Motherhood and being an MP: the Long View
The most recent woman to be elected as an MP is Gill Furniss who won the by-election in the constituency of Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough on 5 May 2016. She is the widow of Henry Harpham MP, who won the seat in the 2015 general election, but died on 4 February 2016. Ms Furniss served... Continue Reading →
If you've seen the movie Suffragette, you'll remember the scene when Maud gives evidence in a House of Commons committee room about her life in the laundry. You may also remember how overwhelming male her audience was. The committee, chaired by Lloyd George, is made up of MPs who were all men in this period.... Continue Reading →
A number of celebrations are taking place this year of Eleanor Rathbone. In Liverpool recently a thousand people attended a lecture about her.
Why this fascination with an MP who died 70 years ago, never held Ministerial Office and died before the reform to which she devoted her life was introduced?
I believe it is because the causes she espoused are still with us today. The conditions may have changed, but the arguments remain the same. Her principle campaigns were for family allowances, refugees and women’s rights.
Eleanor Rathbone was – literally – a big whig. She came from a wealthy and well –established Liverpool Quaker shipping family.
After Oxford, she returned to Liverpool. There she produced a significant Report on an Inquiry into the Conditions of Dock Labour at the Liverpool Docks. Her argument was not a socialist-class based analysis – her concern was that wages did…
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On 14th December 1918, Countess Constance Markievicz (1868-1927) became the first woman to be elected to the UK Parliament, but she did not take her seat. Dr Mari Takayanagi, Senior Archivist at the Parliamentary Archives and joint Project Manager for Vote 100 discusses how this came about and whether she would in fact have been eligible to be an MP.
In 1918, the Representation of the People Act allowed some women over the age of 30 to vote in Parliamentary elections for the first time, and the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act allowed women over the age of 21 to stand as candidates in Parliamentary elections. Constance Markievicz wrote to her sister Eva Gore-Booth:
By the way, shall you stand for Parliament? I wouldn’t mind doing it as a “Shinner” as an election sport, and one does not have to go to Parliament if one wins, but…
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