The wonderful life of the British broadcasting pioneer Hilda Matheson. She has done a lot of work before joining the BBC, including the first British House of Commons female member Nancy Astor. Nancy Astor’s political secretary.
The formal legislation in the United Kingdom to give women the right to vote in 1918 is a famous historical event, but many people may not know that in the same year the United Kingdom also legislated to allow women to run for the House of Commons. Astor was elected in the second year and was active in British politics for many years. He was not allowed to leave until 1945.
But strictly speaking, Astor’s identity as the first female member of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom is debatable, because in the year when women were allowed to run for election in 1918, one woman won the election in the House of Commons. Her name was Constance. Constance Markievicz. She was elected to Dublin, the capital of Ireland, which was not yet independent. However, she represents the Xinfen Party, which advocates Ireland’s independence. The party’s tradition is to participate in the British general election but will not take office. She is no exception. She even participated in the armed struggle for independence in Ireland and later served as a member of the Irish Parliament for many years.
Therefore, Astor was the first woman to be a member of the House of Commons. In the years that followed, several female parliamentarians appeared one after another, all of whom entered the House of Commons on the footsteps of their husbands. Astor himself took the by-election in 1919, and the reason for the by-election was that the original member of the Plymouth constituency and the husband of Astor inherited the position of the viscount from his father and entered the House of Lords, so the constituency The position of a member of the House of Commons is vacant.
The third female member of the House of Commons after Astor was Margaret Winterlin. Her husband was a member of the Lincolnshire constituency and died in office in 1921. Winterlinham won the finals in the by-election, but lost in the 1924 election.
The experience of the fourth female member of parliament is even more peculiar. Mabel Philipson was an actress at the Music Entertainment Theatre, and her husband was a member of the House of Commons in a constituency in northeast England. In 1923, her husband was petitioned for vote because the campaign manager was suspected of fraud. In the subsequent by-election, Phillipson was successfully elected. However, she was not interested in politics and publicly stated that she was only temporarily “holding” the position of a member of the husband. When her husband later stopped running for the election, she announced that she had “exited the political arena” and continued to perform in the music entertainment theater.
The first female member of parliament who won the election by her own strength should be Margaret Bondfield, who entered the House of Commons in 1923. She was born in poverty and did not receive much education. She actively participated in the trade union movement in the younger age and won the right to vote for women. After entering the parliament, she also served as the Minister of Labour and became the first female cabinet minister.
Barbara Castle, a member of the Labour Party, entered the House of Commons in 1945 and has served in various cabinet minister positions. In 1968, the sewing women workers at the Ford Motor Company in the UK went on strike for equal pay for equal work for men and women. The then Minister of Employment, Castle, successfully resolved the dispute and promoted the adoption of the Equal Pay Act. The British film “Made in Dagenham” is based on this historical fact. After leaving the House of Commons in 1979, Castle was immediately elected to the European Parliament and won the European Parliament for 10 years.
From Astor to Castle, the political environment faced by these women parliamentarians is very harsh, and their efforts have broadened the way for women to go to politics.