A Woman's Work
The first time the story of women's progressive politics over the past thirty years has been told - by someone at the forefront of the movement.
Why does the political representation of women matter? And which hurdles - personal, political and societal - have been faced, fought and sometimes overcome in the past thirty years? From campaigning with small children to increasing the number of women in Parliament, bringing women's issues to the heart of the Labour Party and tackling a parliamentary culture with no consideration for family life, this frank, inspiring and politically charged book is a crucial account of the progress (and occasional setbacks) made in fighting to change the Labour Party, UK politics and the way the country has been governed since the 1970s.
'If I had a teenage daughter, especially one who didn't see the point of politics, this is the book I'd buy her. Chatty, accessible and occasionally eye-opening, it's a history of the things conventional political memoirs miss out - written by someone who built a career on things conventional politicians missed out ... [A Woman's Work is] a lively account of the one subject most political memoir writers know next to nothing about: how it felt to be a woman working in one of the least forgiving (and when she was elected in 1982, most macho) careers around.' -- Gaby Hinsliff Guardian
'Compelling ... She has guts to spare and is interesting on the difficulties of a work-life balance in parliament ... Her own judgments on her performance are commendably unsparing ... An important story ... Role model? You bet.' -- Tim Shipman, Political Editor Sunday Times
'The truth about Harriet, not often acknowledged, is that she is that rare politician who has consistently stood up to the powers that be, both Labour and in other parties. This book is a primer in what it takes to do that ... If I ever had doubts about Harriet's total devotion to the cause, I don't now ... There are wonderful vignettes of the clash between family and career ... It says everything that this book ends with Harriet offering us her ten top tips for the feminist struggle. The title is A Woman's Work and, as we know and especially for Harriet, it's never done -- Ann Treneman The Times
'A painfully honest memoir ... where lesser politicians would have slunk from public gaze, Harman reacted by getting tougher -- Mary Riddell Sunday Telegraph Countless blows have tempered Harman into something fearless and indestructible. Hell, why shouldn't this be her prime?' -- Janice Turner The Times
'Fantastic - I can't recommend it highly enough.' --Open Labour
Harriet Harman was elected as Labour MP for Peckham in 1982. Joining a House of Commons which was 97% male, she had three children while in Parliament. She has been politics' most prominent champion for women's rights, introducing the National Childcare Strategy, the Equality Act and changing the law on domestic violence. She was the first woman to represent the Labour Party at Prime Minister's Questions.