Women of Westminster: The MPs Who Changed Politics by Rachel Reeves

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Women of Westminster: The MPs Who Changed Politics by Rachel Reeves

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Category: Politics and Society
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Olivia Tierney
Reviewed by Olivia Tierney
Summary: Women of Westminster: The MPs Who Changed Politics is a detailed account of the history of the revolution of female politicians throughout the last century. Extensive, unbiased and honest it is a brilliant book which will leave you inspired, proud and hopeful of the future. Without a doubt, the book to read this year before giving to everyone you know.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: February 2019
Publisher: I.B. Tauris
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1788312202

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Women in Westminster have changed the culture of politics and the perception of what women can do

Women of Westminster: The MPs Who Changed Politics chronicles the battles the 491 women who have been elected over the course of the past century have fought and highlights their victories. It is remarkable that the history of female Members of Parliament began in 1918, the same year in which women were first given the right to vote but a decade before all women were given suffrage on equal terms with men. Although Constance de Markievicz was the first female elected to Parliament, it was only in 1919 that Nancy Astor became the first women to take her seat in the House of Commons and pave the way for women of the future. It was not long after in 1924 that the first female MP, Margaret Bondfield, was appointed into a cabinet position and since then women MPs have endeavoured to fight gender inequality and campaign for female rights. Within 100 years there has been a gradual revolution of change in politics and to date Britain has been led by two female Prime Ministers. However, such great landmarks have overshadowed the other female MPs whose early achievements, which have paved the way for subsequent women politicians, are consistently overlooked. In Women of Westminster: The MPs Who Changed Politics Rachel Reeves brings the forgotten stories into the spotlight to document the history of British female political history from 1919 to 2019.

This book is without a doubt one of the most empowering I've ever read. With each chapter describing female parliamentary contributions I grew prouder and more inspired. Although it is clear that we have come a long way, it is equally apparent that there is still an even longer way to go. Whilst it is important to reflect on the achievements of the past, the continued drive towards future advancements is crucial. The list of challenges remaining is endless: there is yet to be a Labour female leader; yet to be a female Chancellor of the Exchequer; yet for all women to vote during a general election. But this gem of a book is full of the beautiful hope that the future will be female. It's core message is that women have the strength to overcome the gender political barriers they face and will overcome them.

It is a harsh reality that the role of women in Westminster has predominantly occurred under the radar, with revolutionary acts in part overshadowed by others deemed to be more important. In schools there is a lack of education of the history of female politicians and in fact in the UK's political history altogether. I have always believed strongly that it is incredibly important to be aware of both the UK's and female political history and understand where we have come from and the recognise the decisions that have impacted the future. Until I began reading the first pages, I hadn't realised that this book is what I'd been searching for. And I'm certain many other readers will feel exactly the same.

Women in Westminster is informative, focused, and unbiased. It is the education we were never given. Within its pages it explores how those women who have sat in the House of Commons shaped our modern-day society and champions the work of those who currently sit in the chamber. Reeves' book is a refreshing address of the last century and it is a pleasure to read. She doesn't shy away from the mistakes of the past yet concentrates on the future of women and how politics can be changed for the better with increased female involvement. A powerful book to behold and Women of Westminster is without a doubt one to cherish.

Many thanks to the publishers for providing the BookBag with a copy for review!

Women of Westminster is a highly engaging and important book that everyone can enjoy reading regardless of political opinion. Reeves' account perfectly summarises the trials and triumphs, great and small, of older and more recent female politicians which should never be forgotten. Unputdownable and unstoppable, Women of Westminster is the best book anyone could read right now.

In terms of further reading, I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai is an exceptional book of the importance of human rights and how the smallest of sparks can create the largest of fires. Meanwhile Events, Dear Boy, Events: A Political Diary of Britain from Woolf to Campbell by Ruth Winstone (editor) is a great collections of essays detailing British political history.

Buy Women of Westminster: The MPs Who Changed Politics by Rachel Reeves at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Women of Westminster: The MPs Who Changed Politics by Rachel Reeves at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Women of Westminster: The MPs Who Changed Politics by Rachel Reeves at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Women of Westminster: The MPs Who Changed Politics by Rachel Reeves at Amazon.com.

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