Women of Westminster: the Women who Changed Politics

Sunday 1 September

Venue: Royal Victoria Hotel

10.00 to 11.00

Tickets: £10, students £8.00
Joint ticket with Tessa Boase on Mrs Pankhurst’s Purple Feather: £15.00

Author Rachel Reeves MP in conversation with Danuta Kean. 100 years after the first woman took her seat in Parliament, a fascinating new look at the political pioneers who changed Britain forever.


Rachel Reeves MP

In 1919 Nancy Astor became the first woman MP to take her seat in the House of Commons. Her achievement was all the more remarkable given that women (and even then only some women) had only been allowed to vote for a year. In the past 100 years, a total of 491 women have been elected to Parliament. Yet it was not until 2016 that the total number of women ever elected surpassed the number of male MPs in a single parliament. The achievements of these political pioneers have been remarkable – Britain has now had two female Prime Ministers and women MPs have made significant strides in fighting for gender equality from the earliest suffrage campaigns to Barbara Castle’s fight for equal pay to Harriet Harman’s recent legislation on the gender pay gap. Yet the stories of so many women MPs have too often been overlooked in political histories. In this book, Rachel Reeves brings forgotten MPs out of the shadows and looks at the many battles fought by the Women of Westminster, from 1919 to 2019.

Rachel Reeves is Labour MP for Leeds West. She was a member of Ed Miliband’s Shadow Cabinet from 2013-2015.

Danuta Kean

Danuta Kean is a respected publishing industry expert and journalist. She writes for the Guardian and is also books editor of Mslexia the writers magazine for women. As well as journalism, she has edited several reports on improving diversity among novelists and in the theatre, the most recent of which was the Arts Council-sponsored Writing the Future and Centre Stage for the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation.

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