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Politics & press news – Embassy 1 – October 2007

Lord Speaker at the WDS

Women envoys were privileged to be addressed by Britain's first-ever elected Lord Speaker, within the magnificent setting of the River Room in the Houses of Parliament.

Baroness Hayman outlined to WDS members the essential function of the House of Lords, which is to scrutinise legislation.

The Lord Speaker went on to explain sweeping changes to the composition of the upper chamber, not least since the reduction of Hereditary Peers.

Addressing senior women envoys, Baroness Hayman reminded them of the unfavourable reaction to the idea of allowing women into upper the chamber in the 1950s. Only after the Life Peerages act of 1958 did the first woman enter the Lords.

Now one third of the Front Benches are women. There are also twice as many ethnic minorities in the House of Lords than in the House of Commons.

Want to know more? Contact the WDS secretary at:
secretary@wds-uk.org.uk or visit www.wds-uk.org.uk

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