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Harriet Harman MP #IWD2018, 2018-03-06

Reference Code: GBR/0014/SOBA 1/11

Scope and Contents

The Mother of the House Harriet Harman MP delivered her 2018 International Women's Day speech to a specially convened House of Commons Works of Art Committee Audience in Westminster. Harman is introduced by Alison McGovern MP. Harman begins by thanking McGovern and paying tribute to other female MPs, as well as Helen Pankhurst. Harman discusses the relationship between men and women as she was growing up as a woman. Harman talks about feeling out of place and seeing the ranks of men in grey suits on the green benches, feeling that she did not belong, especially in a maternity dress. She talks about receiving letters women angry at her abandoning her children and Harman worried about the impact she was having. Harman was told to understand the important parts of the political agenda - not domestic violence and women, but economics and foreign policy. Harman notes that there was a lot of support from men and women, she knew she had to stick with it and be persistent. Harman talks about creating protocol for having one woman on each shortlist for Labour candidates, there was uproar but only men got selected. Harman says that they then resorted to all women shortlists - recording is interrupted by a bell - Neil Kinnock was a strong supporter of this idea of having all women shortlists. Harman discusses a change in Conservative female MPs and a change in male MPs, the idea of a man supporting a woman's agenda was unthinkable when Harman joined the House. Women are now in the forefront although still outnumbered. Harman ends with a statement about fighting inequality, all discrimination and inequality is wrong and unfair.


  • Creation: 2018-03-06



1 item(s) : 30 minutes 14 seconds (Audio)

Language of Materials


Finding aid date

2020-03-26 10:26:09+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087