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Hardship and Faith: the Experience of the First Women Members of Parliament :: Robin Harragin Hussey

  • Eleventh Church of Christ, Scientist, London 11 Saint Chad's Street London, WC1H 8BG UK (map)

2018 marks a significant centenary for women with the passing of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which for the first time gave (some) women in Britain the right to vote, and of the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918. This second (very short) Act of Parliament received the Royal Assent on 21st November 1918, and stated that “A woman shall not be disqualified by sex or marriage for being elected to or sitting or voting as a Member of the Commons House of Parliament”. In keeping with our Eleventh Church of Christ, Scientist, London venue, Robin Harragin Hussey will be talking about some of the earliest female MPs, three of whom were Christian Scientists. They included Lady Nancy Astor, the first woman to sit in the House of Commons.  For these early women MPs, the House of Commons was a very difficult place to work, having been a male bastion for over six hundred years.  They were not welcomed.  Robin will explore how and if their religious faith helped them to deal with these hardships, influenced the causes they supported, and led to their main achievements. She will also consider how they advanced the causes so close to the hearts of all those women who fought so hard for the vote in the preceding years.

Robin is District Manager of the Christian Science Committee on Publication in UK and Ireland, and has a background in church history; she worked for many years as a teacher of Religious Studies. 

This talk is being held jointly with the Eleventh Church.