Who was first to petition Parliament asking for votes for women? What did John Stuart Mill do for the women’s suffrage movement in 1866? What was The Tomb? Why was Alice Hawkins jailed five times?
This year is the 100th anniversary of the ‘Representation of the People Act 1918’ which gave some women and all men the right to vote in the UK. And Parliament is marking the centenary with ‘Voice and Vote’, an interactive exhibition exploring the story of women in Parliament throughout history.
There has never been a better time to ask questions, sort fact from fiction, and find out about women’s place in Parliament from the early suffrage movement to the work of female MPs and peers today.
Voice and Vote opens 27 June 2018. If you can’t wait, here are some surprising facts about women in Parliament to keep you going for now.
After being trampled by the king’s horse during the 1913 Epsom Derby, Emily Wilding Davison was hailed as a martyr by her fellow suffragettes. But she was actually quite famous before her death, having managed to secure a place on the Index Expurgatorius: the list of people and books banned from Parliament. The ban came about because of her disruptive campaigning, which included spending a night hidden in a Palace of Westminster broom cupboard to protest against women being asked to complete the 1911 Census form, although they had no voting rights.