Sign up for our free E-Newsletter!

Centre for Women & Democracy
Suite 7a, Unity Business Centre
26 Roundhay Road

Tel: 0113 234 6500


Follow us on Twitter

Margaret Bondfield

17 March 1873 – 16 June 1953

British Labour politician, trade unionist and feminist, one of the first Labour women MPs, first woman government minister, first woman cabinet minister, first woman privy councillor, first woman to chair the TUC.


I work for Adult Suffrage because I believe it is the quickest way to establish a real sex-equality.

Speech, 1906


I am what I am, not out of any personal virtue, but because all my life has been in the training ground of corporate bodies and different organisations, and I am merely the product of the work of hundreds and thousands of unknown names.

Scotsman, 19 July 1929


I concentrated on my job. This concentration was undisturbed by love affairs. I had seen too much - too early - to have the least desire to join in the pitiful scramble of my workmates.

A Life's Work 1948


I had no vocation for wifehood or motherhood, but an urge to serve the Union.

A Life's Work 1948


I always said it was a mistake on the part of some of the ultra-feminist suffragettes, to argue the specific woman point of view in connection with political questions. I do not think that is the way in which we develop.

House of Commons, 21 July 1931


Back to In Our Own Words

Back to Bachelet - Burton