One hundred years ago today, on December 14th, 1918, Ireland’s Constance Markievicz became the first woman to be elected to the British Parliament. She fought for Ireland in the Easter Rising of 1916 and I remember seeing her clothes and weapons on display in a museum when we visited Dublin.
The election she won was also the first time women were allowed to vote in the United Kingdom. Constance Markievicz refused to swear loyalty to the King to protest the British rule over Ireland and that is still practiced today by her party. She was in prison when she won the election and once she was released, she served in government for many years. She became the first female cabinet minister in the UK Parliament and was the second woman to hold such a position in Europe.
Her advice to other females that wanted to fight for the republic of Ireland in the 1916 Rising was, “Dress suitably in short skirts and sitting boots, leave your jewels and gold wands in the bank, and buy a revolver.”
I cannot imagine what kind of bravery that took. To fight for the country she believed in against all odds.
What can we fight for today? Kindness? Engagement? The downtrodden? Our youth? Living the life of our dreams?
Whatever you choose, believe in yourself and your cause. It won’t always be easy. But it will always be worth it.