21st November 1918 was a historic day in Parliament as it saw the first female MP take her seat in the House of Commons – Lady Nancy Astor. Nancy Astor was not in fact the first MP to be elected, that milestone went to Constance Markievicz who as an Irish Republican followed the Sinn Féin policy of abstention and didn’t take her seat.
Exactly one hundred years later on Wednesday 21 November 2018 women made political history once again – as for the very first time the number of women in Parliament outnumbered the men
Deeds and Words – 100 years on and we have some way to go! Join us for a celebration of women’s voices marking the centenary of suffrage
2018 is a significant year of anniversaries for women in work and public life. In February we marked the centenary of the Representation of the People Act which gave a limited number of women the vote, followed by the passing of the Parliament Act on 21 November 1918 which allowed women to stand for election. Men still outnumber women in parliament by more than 2:1 and at the current rate of progress it will take 50 years to achieve parity in the Palace of Westminster. Clearly, we still have some way to go.