Lords reform c1920-1999
After women were allowed to sit in the House of Commons from 1918, the battle moved to the House of Lords.
The enormous wave of social change sweeping through Britain during the 1950s made the continuing hereditary basis of the House of Lords seem increasingly out of date. The task of reform was put in hand, but progress was slow.
From 1958 the House of Lords administration had to adapt to women members in all sort of ways, from deciding what to call them (women peers or peeresses) to providing more bathrooms.
Since 1958, life peers have brought a greater diversity to the membership of the House of Lords and played a significant role in its work. This section explores the different ways in which life peers have contributed to the work of the Lords.
The 1958 Life Peerages Act was a major step forward in modernising the membership of the House of Lords. Some remaining anomalies were addressed from 1963.