Women of Westminster: An Evening with Rachel Reeves MP & Ayesha Hazarika

Date: Wednesday 13 March 2019
Location: Hatchards Piccadilly

Time: 17:30
General Admission: £6
Book & Admission: £21
Tickets available here.

In 1919, Nancy Astor was elected as the Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton, becoming 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 entitled to vote for just over 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. Despite all of this, the stories of so many women MPs have too often been overlooked in political histories.

At 18:30 on Wednesday 13 March, MP Rachel Reeves joins us at Hatchards Piccadilly to discuss her new book WOMEN OF WESTMINSTER: The MPs Who Changed Politics and bring forgotten MPs out of the shadows. She will be joined by our fantastic chairperson for the evening: Ayesha Hazarika, Scottish comedian, broadcaster, political commentator, and former political adviser to senior Labour Party politicians.


“From household names like Nancy Astor to lesser-known, but equally pioneering politicians such as Florence Horsbrugh and Mavis Tate, Women of Westminster tells the story of the female MPs who shaped Parliament and the country. These women broke into Parliament’s boys’ club, rewrote the membership rules and in the process set about transforming Britain. This is a glorious compendium of the manifold achievements they chalked up – and the sacrifices they made. Rachel Reeves is perfectly positioned to tell their story, having experienced the slings and arrows of Parliamentary prejudice first-hand. As she herself puts it, she “stands on the shoulders” of her pioneering forbears, and from that vantage point she can see not only all they achieved but also what more needs to be done.” Cathy Newman

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