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Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act

The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 received Royal Assent on 23 December 1919. It read: 'A person shall not be disqualified by sex or marriage from the exercise of any public function, or from being appointed to or holding any civil or judicial office or post, or from entering or assuming or carrying on any civil profession or vocation, or for admission to any incorporated society (whether incorporated by Royal Charter or otherwise), and a person shall not be exempted by sex or marriage from the liability to serve as a juror.' Organisations including the Law Society, the Bar Council, the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons subsequently allowed women to become members, therefore allowing women to become solicitors, barristers, chartered accountants and vets for the first time. Women were also allowed to enter examinations for the higher ranks of parts of the civil service, although provisos in the Act limited the effect of this, and women remained barred from the foreign and diplomatic service for many years; women were also still expected to resign from their posts on marriage. The Act also permitted universities to admit women to degrees; Oxford did so in 1920, Cambridge not until 1947 (all other universities already admitted women to degrees before 1919).