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A Century of Women MPs

September 5, 2018 - September 7, 2018
History of Parliament Trust, University of Westminster, UK Parliament's Vote 100 project

House of Parliament and University of Westminster
Westminster, London
United Kingdom

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Parliament’s Vote 100 Project, University of Westminster & the History of Parliament Trust will host

A Century of Women MPs, 1918-2018

on 5-7 September 2018

to be held at the University of Westminster (Thursday 6 Sep) &House of Parliament (Friday 7 Sep)

November 2018 marks one hundred years since the passage of the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act. This Act together with the Representation of the People Act, passed early in the same year enabled women to participate in the December 1918 election as both voters and candidates for the first time. Constance Markievicz was elected, but did not sit, and so Nancy Astor, elected at a by-election the following year, became the first woman sitting MP.

‘A Century of Women MPs’ is a major international conference which will explore the experiences, contributions and achievements of women MPs, the challenges they faced, and debates and issues around gender and representation. The conference will include contributions from previous and current women MPs and from scholars from a variety of disciplines working in the field. It will be of interest to politicians, policymakers, women’s organisations and those working in disciplines such as history, politics and sociology. 

Baroness Hayman, former Lord Speaker and life peer, will chair a roundtable discussion of the experiences of women MPs, past and present, which will be followed by a welcome reception. This will be on Wednesday evening (5 Sep) in Portcullis House, Westminster. Please indicate when singing up for the conference whether you also wish to attend this event.

Our first keynote speaker is Dr Jacqui Turner of the University of Reading, who researches nineteenth and twentieth century parliamentary politics and political cultures, including gender and early feminism. Her paper is entited, '"Pioneers may be picturesque figures, but they are often rather lonely ones": Nancy Astor breaching the gender divide 1919-1923'. Our second keynote speaker is Professor Krista Cowman, of the University of Lincoln, whose research focuses around the history of women's suffrage and early women politics, and she will speak about 'The First Women Candidates'.

There will also be the opportunity to visit Voice and Vote: Women's Place in Parliament, (for more information see the Vote 100 website: Parliament's landmark public exhibtion, enjoy an audio tour of the Palace of Westminster and attend a conference dinner (Thursday 6). Please indicate your interest in these events when signing up.

The full conference programme (currently a draft) can be found here: 

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August 31, 2018, 5:00pm BST

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