Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act

Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act
  • Title: Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act

  • Date : 1918

  • Catalogue number : Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/PU/1/1918/8&9G5c47

  • Description :

    In 1918 Parliament passed the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act which allowed women to become MPs for the first time. It was a very short Act, only one page long, stating simply that women were not disqualified by sex or marriage from sitting or voting as members of the House of Commons. At this time women could only vote if they were over the age of 30 and met certain property qualifications. However there were no such restrictions about women being MPs, meaning they could be elected from the age of 21, the same as for men.

    Seventeen women stood in the December 1918 general election. One was elected, Countess Constance Markievicz for the Dublin constituency of St Patrick's. However as a member of Sinn Fein, she did not take her seat at the Westminster Parliament.

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