First woman elected to the Swedish Parliament and first Swedish female delegate to the League of Nations
Kerstin Hesselgren (1872-1962)
The first woman elected into the Upper House of the Swedish parliament after female suffrage was introduced in 1921, Kerstin Hesselgren, qualified as a Sanitary Inspector from Bedford College in 1905.
She focused on improving health conditions by inspecting the living conditions in the Swedish capital, which were appalling for working classes at the time. Hesselgren used these experiences to guide her political career and became a spokesperson for women as she was the only female member in the Upper House (she was one of five women elected to the Lower House).
She was active in working for the access of women to all political positions, for equal salary, for the legalisation of sex education and birth control, and for the lowering of the punishment for abortion.