• The YSI

Women's history​ Month: Constance Markievicz

A socialite turned radical revolutionary, Constance Markievicz broke the mould for women in the 20th century and continues to inspire women the world over through her legacy of pioneering political achievements, radicalism, and social justice.


Born into the wealth of the Anglo-Irish Protestant Ascendancy, Constance Markievicz joined James Connolly in working to further the cause of workers rights and the cause of Irish nationalism.

Markievicz fought on the frontline of the Easter Rising of 1916. Alongside the other leaders of the Rising, she surrendered to the British and was sentenced to death. Her sentence was commuted, on grounds of her gender, to imprisonment- but she insisted that if her male colleagues were to be shot she should be executed too.


Following her release from prison, Markievicz campaigned in the 1918 General election, and became the first ever female MP. Like the majority of her fellow Irish MPs, she chose to not take up her seat.


Markievicz served as Minister for Labour from April 1919 to January 1922, and became both the first Irish female Cabinet Minister and the second female government minister in Europe.