Event, Women's History

Breaking the Glass Chamber: Women, Politics and Parliament 1945-1997 September 15-17th at Queen Mary University of London

Registration is now open for this exciting conference being held at the Mile End Institute, Queen Mary University of London, from the 15-17 September 2022. See the full programme here and register here.

2022 marks a series of historic anniversaries for women in British politics. It is forty years since the election of Harriet Harman, the Mother of the House; thirty-five years since the election of the first Black woman MP, Diane Abbott; thirty years since the first woman, Betty Boothroyd, was elected to Speaker of the House; and twenty-five years since the election of more than a hundred women MPs for the Labour Party.

Photo of all women MPs in Parliament with then Prime Minister Theresa May

This list of milestones might seem to suggest that women made steady, if slow, progress into British political life in the post-war period. The reality, however, was rather different.

This conference will provide an important opportunity to showcase emerging work on women and politics in the second half of the twentieth century in Britain, bringing historians together with political scientists and sociologists to generate new conversations, relationships, and understandings of what politics meant to and for women in the second half of the twentieth century.

Confirmed academic speakers include:

  • Laura Beers (Professor of History at American University, Washington DC)
  • Clarisse Berthèzene (Professor of Modern British History at the University of Paris)
  • Sarah Childs (Professor of Politics and Gender at Royal Holloway University of London)
  • Jullie Gottlieb (Professor of Modern British History at the University of Sheffield)
  • Farah Hussain (Research Fellow at the Mile End Institute, QMUL)
  • Khursheed Wadia (Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Warwick)

Sessions with external speakers include:

  • ‘The Future of Women in British Politics’ with Rachel Blake (Tower Hamlets Councillor), Zainab Asanramu (Elect Her), Rabina Khan (Liberal Democrats), Jemima Olchawski (Fawcett Society), Natasha Osei (50:50 Parliament) and Elena Scherbatykh (Women’s Equality Party)
  • ‘Reflections on Parliamentary Careers’ with Baroness Browning, Dame Margaret Hodge MP, Baroness Morris of Yardley, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, Baroness Primarolo and Baroness Shephard of Northwold.
  • ‘A Woman’s Place is in the House … of Commons!’ with Lesley Abdela (300 Group) and Frances Scott (50:50 Parliament)
  • ‘People Like Us’: In Conversation with Caroline Slocock
  • ‘I never saw Westminster as the final destination’: In Conversation with Siân James

Details of how to watch the main sessions if you are not able to attend in person will be available nearer the time