If I were to stop people on the street and ask them to name four women who have been or are making waves in British politics, I wonder how many could? I wonder how many would be able to name four women who have been involved in British politics at all. Women in Politics is not only a fairly recent thing, but they continue to be underrepresented in parliament and so to be involved and taking progressive action in this country is remarkable itself. The following four women, however, seem a good place to start when thinking of women that have made waves in British politics as their forward thinking, selfless and inspiring determination to change the country. And so, in chronological order I present …
1. Nancy Astor was a Conservative MP; who served between 1919 and 1945. Nancy Astor was the first female to take her seat as MP in the House of Commons. Nancy Astor’s presence in the House of Commons made waves in politics for the women that have since become MPs.
2. Barbara Castle was a Labour MP, who served from 1945-1979; she put through the 1970 Equal pay act. This Equal pay act demands that men and women are treated the same with regard to pay and employment conditions.
3. Jackie Ballard was a Liberal Democrat MP who served as MP from 1997-2001 and her defeat in the 2001 election was said to be attributed to her efforts in the first attempt at banning fox hunting. Her courage to speak out against blood sports resulted in the ban on fox hunting being enforced in February 2005.
4. And finally Caroline Lucas, the first ever Green MP. Caroline Lucas’ mission was not self-promotion but rather to encourage efforts to make the environment hospitable for future generations. Upon Caroline’s success in 2010 to take a Green Seat in parliament she resigned as the Green Party’s leader as an effort to boost the profile of her Green colleagues for the next general election in 2015.
Thank you Nancy Astor, Barbara Castle, Jackie Ballard, and Caroline Lucas for not only making waves for matters important to yourselves but also allowing others to test the waters too! As a side note, I love people introducing me to new areas of interest, so I hope this article gets the ball-rolling for others to write articles such as ‘4 female scientists’ that made waves or ‘4 female sketch-artists’ who made waves because if you were to ask me on the street to name 4 female scientists or 4 sketch artists, I would not be able to answer, so please give me a voice!