Women in Tynwald
House of Keys
Women have been able to stand for election to the House of Keys since 1919, when universal adult suffrage was introduced.
The first woman to be elected was Mrs Marion Shimmin at a by-election in 1933 caused by the death of her husband Christopher. Mrs Shimmin was elected unopposed.
Five women were elected to the Keys in the 2016 election. This is
the highest number of female MHKs at any one time.
For a short period between January 1975 and November 1976 there were four female Members (one sixth) of the House.
Betty Hanson, a former MHK, was the first woman to be elected to the Legislative Council in 1982. Since then, three other women have served as MLCs: Clare Christian from 1993 to 2011, Pamela Crowe from 2003 to 2008, and Jane Poole-Wilson from 2017 to date. Mrs Poole-Wilson is the first woman MLC who has not previously been an MHK.
In 2011, Clare Christian, a former MHK and sitting MLC, was elected as President of Tynwald.
There has not yet been a Madam Speaker of the House of Keys, but Hazel Hannan served as Deputy Speaker between 2004 and 2006.
Click the names of the Members below to read about each of the women who have served as MHKs and MLCs:
Read more about the changes in legislation that allowed women to stand for election: Votes for Women
Read more about the changes in legislation that allowed women to Vote in an election: Votes for Women