Krista Cowman
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‘The statutory woman whose main task was to explore what women …were likely to think’
Margaret Thatcher and women’s politics in the 1950s and 1960s
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A prominent question that emerged in the many appraisals of Margaret Thatcher's life that appeared shortly after her death was how to position the United Kingdom's first woman Prime Minister in relation to the women's movement and to feminism. This chapter focuses on three distinct but overlapping areas. They include her pre-election activity and early work in Parliament, her alignment with broader women's politics and her engagement with public feminist commemorations both in the 1960s and in 1978. In The Iron Lady, Phyllida Law's cinematographic portrayal of Margaret Thatcher's life, much is made of her first experiences of the House of Commons. Despite her dismissal of the women's movement, in her work towards Two to Five in High Flats, Thatcher had herself joined with other women across party lines in a campaign. This campaign was specifically aimed at improving the lives of working-class women and their children.

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Rethinking right-wing women

Gender and the Conservative Party, 1880s to the present

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