Marguerite Thomas-Clement, born on 17 May 1886 in Luxembourg City, was one of Luxembourg's political pioneers. After graduating as a teacher, she married Xavier Thomas in Stuttgart in 1917. Her political career began with her participation in the parliamentary elections in 1919, the first universal suffrage for women in Luxembourg. Marguerite Thomas-Clement was elected as the first woman member of the Chamber of Deputies, initially for the Socialist Party (SDP), but later joining the Radical Socialist Party.
This strident, convinced and committed schoolteacher probably changed her profession in order to be able to run for her mandate. The new member of parliament is not shy. Although she does not succeed in influencing politics in a concrete way, Marguerite Thomas-Clement manages to liven up parliamentary debates. She pointed her finger at the social ills and injustices of the time and brought taboo subjects to the agenda. From the status of women to labour and finance, her range of interests is wide. As a spokeswoman for women, Marguerite Thomas-Clement criticised the working conditions and wages of female workers in the steel industry and auxiliaries employed by the state. "Gentlemen, these young girls are sufficient for all the duties incumbent upon them and receive a salary which, if they are alone in life, barely enables them to pay the rent of their garret at the end of the month and to feed themselves with dry bread and potatoes." She condemned the disastrous hygienic conditions of the delivery clinic in Pfaffenthal.
In 1921, Marguerite Thomas-Clement was elected the first woman to the Luxembourg City Council. From 1925 to 1928, she even sat as an alderwoman. Marguerite Thomas-Clement also joined the 'Action féminine' in 1926. Following the political brawls that caused the party to split, she broke with the SDP and joined the Radical Socialist Party. Her political career came to an end in 1931, when she was not re-elected.
In 1979, Marguerite Thomas-Clement died in Noerdange at the age of 93.
● Renée Wagener: Sprecherin der Frauen: Marguerite Thomas-Clement, die erste Luxemburger Abgeordnete, in: Wenn nun wir Frauen auch das Wort ergreifen, Publications Nationales, Ministère de la Culture, 1997, pp. 100-111.