• Astor 100

    Celebrating 100 years of women in parliament

 

Challenging the male narrative in Parliament

The election of Nancy Astor changed British democracy for ever. Here, for the first time, was a woman who was able to directly influence the parliamentary debate and the writing of the laws of their own land. A responsibility she willingly shouldered for all women.

Her courage and resilience in standing alone for almost 2 years in a hostile House established a platform on which women continue to build today. Her arrival in Parliament ushered in a new type of politician, a public woman, a new perspective and a reminder that there was a female electorate who increasingly demanded to be satisfied.

#Astor100 is a major series of academic and public engagements taking place during 2019 and on into 2020, curated by Dr Jacqui Turner, lecturer in Modern History at the University of Reading,

The project is underpinned by a digital humanities project ‘An Unconventional MP’: The political career of Nancy Astor in 50 documents’, an online exhibition illustrating Nancy Astor’s political career and her legacy.

It also goes beyond Nancy Astor. #Astor100 is the memorisation of the achievement of an individual that will facilitate a wider celebration of what she represented and the avenues she pioneered for women who followed. It also amplifies the demand for continued progress towards political equality – we are not there yet!

Nancy Astor speaks to a Plymouth crowd while campaigning for election in 1919.