Dame Enid Lyons became the first woman elected to the federal House of Representatives. She had lost her husband in 1939. She later wrote that juggling work and home duties, organising her large family (she had twelve children), coping with their childhood illnesses and medical problems, liaising with their teachers, keeping herself well-dressed (photographers delighted in taking pictures whenever she appeared), fulfilling social duties in her constituency, without the support of her husband, were extremely tiring. Her heartfelt cry touches a nerve in women today: I would sometimes look at the men about me and envy them for having wives. Were there any of those politicians, I would ask myself, who even washed their own socks?