anti-FGM politics

Katherine Stewart-Murray

Kathrine Stewart-Murray, Duchess of Atholl, was a Scottish noblewoman and Scottish Unionist Party politician.


Stewart-Murray was active in Scottish local government, despite the fact that she herself had been an anti-suffrage campaigner prior to WWI. She served on the “Highlands and Islands Medical Service Committee” that was credited with creating the forerunner of the National Health Service.


Stewart-Murray became the first woman to be elected for a Scottish seat as the Scottish Unionist Member of Parliament (MP) for Kinross and West Perthshire. After the collapse of the Labour administration in 1924, she became the first woman woman other than a Mistress of the Robes to serve in a Conservative Government. During her time as an MP she established a committee with Eleanor Rathbone MP to outlaw Female Genital Mutilation and introduced a Ten Minute Rule Bill, which would become the Illegitimate Children (Scotland) Act 1931.


In 1929, after losing office she concentrated her efforts on the fight against totalitarianism in the Soviet Union and published The Conscription of a People in 1930, followed by Women and Politics a year later. She also travelled to Spain in 1937 as part of an all-woman delegation including Eleanor Rathbone and Ellen Wilkinson. They visited Barcelona, Catalonia, Valencia and Madrid to discover the destruction caused by the Luftwaffe. She would later became chair of the National Joint Committee for Spanish Relief and the chair of the British League for European Freedom.


Sources here and here

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