Women 1900-1950

Women 1900-1950

The 20th century saw far-reaching change in many aspects of women's lives. Women were 'emancipated', gaining new legal and political rights together with more economic and social status. The first half of the century saw women's legal and political rights 'evened up' with men's, although by 1950 many inequalities remained.

Political rights

The most important political right won by women was the right to vote. This was given to women over 30 in 1918 and women over 21 (the same age as the male franchise) in 1928. The change was associated with the campaigns of the militant suffragettes, and the non-militant suffragists who lobbied for change more peaceably. The first women Member of Parliament was Nancy Astor, who was elected in 1919. The first woman to enter the cabinet was Margaret Bondfield, who became a cabinet minister in 1929.

Women were already playing a part in local government politics. In London, women were involved with the London County Council (L.C.C). In 1909, Jesse Wilston Phipps became the first woman to chair a council sub-committee. By 1925, the L.C.C. had 25 women members.

Legal rights

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