When meeting a new woman MP was no longer a rarity for us staff! Recollections of the impact of the May 1997 election

Guest post by Oonagh Gay On 1 May 1997 120 women MPs were elected; exactly double the number elected in 1992 and representing 18.2 per cent of all MPs, 71 of these MPs were new. For House of Commons Library staff, suddenly, it was no longer a rarity to meet a woman MP. Previously, it was possible to recognise each woman MP and name their constituency without much difficulty. Suddenly there was a host of younger, unfamiliar, female faces to process. 101 of those 120 women elected were Labour, reflecting the landslide majority achieved by their Party, and the positive … Continue reading When meeting a new woman MP was no longer a rarity for us staff! Recollections of the impact of the May 1997 election

‘The lady Liberal agent’

‘The lady Liberal agent’: Bertha Fischer (1875-1920) and Ellen Pocock (1854-1943) Guest post by Kathryn Rix In July 1902 the ‘Ladies’ Column’ of the Dundee Evening Telegraph ran an article on ‘Novel professions for women’, featuring ‘The lady Liberal agent’, Bertha Bowness Fischer. She had recently passed the professional examination held by the Society of Certificated and Associated Liberal Agents (SCALA), becoming the first woman to qualify as a Fellow of that body. Given that women were excluded from the parliamentary franchise until 1918, and from the comparable profession of solicitor until after 1919, it is rather surprising to find … Continue reading ‘The lady Liberal agent’