MP and Staplehurst photographer mark centenary of women in Parliament

One hundred years after women first gained the right to sit in Parliament as MPs, the long awaited #209 Women exhibition opens in Parliament’s Portcullis House until 14 February 2019.

November 21 this year marked 100 years since the passing of the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act, which allowed women over 21 to become MPs on equal terms as men for the first time.  The General Election that followed this legislation, on 14 December 1918, was the first time (some) women over 30 and all men over 21 were able to cast their first vote.

Marking that special anniversary the #209 Women exhibition includes portraits of all 209 current female MPs, all photographed by female photographers across the country, in an all-female initiative.

Helen said ‘I received an approach from Staplehurst photographer Emma Freeman about working together on this I and suggested the Leeds Castle international Flower Festival as a possible location.  One exhibit was themed ‘Votes for Women’, created by Maidstone florist Trudie Easton, which was perfect for #209 Women exhibition.  We were grateful to be able to use Trudie’s set for the shot and it was even more lovely that her exhibit was awarded the festival’s ‘best of show’. 209 Women is a great exhibition of the talents of women and illustrates that the House of Commons is changing and becoming a place where women can achieve and progress, but we can’t take our foot off of the peddle.’

‘#209 Women’ is on display at Portcullis House in Westminster from 14 December 2018 to 14 February 2019, and free tickets are available on Parliament’s website.