Concept

Margaret Bondfield

Summary
Margaret Grace Bondfield (17 March 1873 – 16 June 1953) was a British Labour Party politician, trade unionist and women's rights activist. She became the first female cabinet minister, and the first woman to be a privy counsellor in the UK, when she was appointed Minister of Labour in the Labour government of 1929–31. She had earlier become the first woman to chair the General Council of the Trades Union Congress (TUC). Bondfield was born in humble circumstances and received limited formal education. After serving an apprenticeship to an embroideress she worked as a shop assistant in Brighton and London. She was shocked by the working conditions of shop staff, particularly within the "living-in" system, and became an active member of the shopworkers' union. She began to move in socialist circles, and in 1898 was appointed assistant secretary of the National Amalgamated Union of Shop Assistants, Warehousemen and Clerks (NAUSAWC). She was later prominent in several women's sociali
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