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MP and/or JP: An examination of the public work of selected women during the early years of women’s enfranchisement (c.1920-1931)

Logan, Anne (2020) MP and/or JP: An examination of the public work of selected women during the early years of women’s enfranchisement (c.1920-1931). Open Library of Humanities, 6 (2). pp. 1-29. E-ISSN 2056-6700. (doi:10.16995/olh.565) (KAR id:81971)

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Only a year after the first election in which women were able to vote and stand as members of parliament (MPs) the 1919 Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act became law. Among its other provisions, this legislation allowed women to become Justice of the Peace (JPs) for the first time. In December 1919 the Lord Chancellor convened a committee of advisors (the Crewe Committee), drawn from different parts of the United Kingdom and the various political parties, and in 1920 the appointment of the first large group of women to become JPs was announced. Among the early women JPs were several individuals who also feature in the list of the country’s first women MPs, and some others who stood unsuccessfully for parliament. This article concentrates on the careers in public and political service of a few of these women, with particular focus on their engagement with criminal justice reform and connections to the women’s movement. It considers examples both of women who were successful in becoming MPs and those who were not. Among the issues considered will be the extent of these individuals’ interest in the political and judicial aspects of their work and an assessment of their extra-parliamentary careers. The paper concludes that women could and did lead important and satisfying political lives outside as well as inside the House of Commons.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.16995/olh.565
Uncontrolled keywords: Women magistrates, Women Members of Parliament
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Anne Logan
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2020 13:02 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:13 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Logan, Anne:
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