A Woman in a Man’s World: Margaret Bondfield’s Early Career, 1873–1929
In 1924, Margaret Bondfield became the first-ever female Minister. It was a momentous achievement. Born in Chard, Somerset, she left school at 13 first to become a pupil teacher, then a shop assistant. This chapter examines the lives of shop assistants like Margaret; it shows how she became involved in the largely male trade union movement and how that in turn helped her to become an MP and later a Minister. Margaret Bondfield held strong religious convictions, and this chapter demonstrates how these influenced her politics.