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Bedford Centre Annual Lecture 2018

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Challenging the System: The Parliament Qualification of Women Act 1918 and the first Women Candidates

  • Date 14 Nov 2018
  • Time 18.00-20.00
  • Category Lecture

Professor Krista Cowman, University of Lincoln

The Representation of the People Act that gave parliamentary votes to some British women from February 1918 was followed 9 months later with another act, that recognised their right to stand as MPs.  Seventeen women stood as candidates the following month.  Only one – Constance Markievicz –  was elected, but as a Sinn Fein candidate she did not take her seat and it was not until 1919 that the first woman MP, Nancy Astor, went to Westminster.

This lecture looks at the campaigns fought by women in the 1918 general election. It explains some of the legal and cultural obstacles they faced, then considers how women engaged with the electorate, collectively and individually as female candidates.

Krista Cowman is Professor of History at the University of Lincoln.  She has published widely on the women’s suffrage movement and on women in politics in Britain with books including ‘Women of the Right Spirit: Paid Organizers in the Women’s Social and Political Union’  and was the historical advisor to the feature film ‘Suffragette’.  During the suffrage centenary year she has been working with Vote 100 on ‘What Difference did the War Make?’ a project to commemorate ongoing suffrage work in the First World War.  Her current research looks at women’s everyday politics in urban Britain in the 1950s and 1960s.

All are welcome at the lecture and reception and there is no need to book. For more information please contact the Bedford Centre Co-ordinator Adam McKie.

Lady Astor

Further information

Venue: Moore Auditorium. All are welcome - no need to book.

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