Margaret, Lady Rhondda, lived a life of wealth and privilege but she was not afraid to stand up for her beliefs as well as support them financially. An only child, she was strongly influenced by her parents Sybil Haig – an active suffragette and David Thomas a Welsh businessman and long standing liberal MP. She was Secretary of the Newport branch of the Women’s Social & Political Union (WSPU) and she joined in with a number of militant and even violent actions, including protest marches and attempting to blow up a postbox. She spent a brief spell in prison before being released after going on hunger strike. Continue reading Margaret Haig Thomas, Lady Rhondda
Lucinda Hinsdale was born September 30, 1814 in Hinesburg, VT to Aaron & Lucinda (Mitchell) Hinsdale. Lucinda spent her early years attending the public school, briefly attending a female seminary before finding the academic rigor less than what she desired and at age 13 went to Hinesburg Academy, a boys’ high school. Though she surpassed her male counterparts in the curriculum of Greek, Latin, French, and literature, the gender biases of the time kept her from continuing on to college studies, so at age 15 she became a schoolteacher, which was a common occurrence during that time. Continue reading Lucinda Hinsdale Stone
The information about Inez Milholland which appears here is kindly taken from the InezMilholland.org website with their permission.
Inez Milholland was an Icon of the New Women in the early 1900’s. She was always known and publicized for her beauty and her brilliance. She was raised by socially-conscious parents and educated at Vassar where she became active in the Women’s suffrage movement and advocacy for the poor.
A rare woman, she earned a Law degree at NYU and promptly became involved with the labor strikes of the Women’s Garment Workers and the Triangle Shirtwaist factory struggle. Throughout her life, Inez worked and fought for the underrepresented and the oppressed. Continue reading Inez Milholland
Huda Sha’arawi was an Egyptian feminist and activist who founded the Egyptian Feminist Union.
Huda was born in Cairo in 1879 and came from a very wealthy Egyptian family. Life for boys and girls in Egypt at that time was quite different. As Huda grew she came to notice there were many things permitted for her brother which were forbidden to her. For example, when she saw her brother riding a horse she wanted one too, however she was told that riding wasn’t for girls. Huda was educated, but again, there were differences in the subjects she was allowed to study and those which her male relatives were. She said;
“I became depressed and began to neglect my studies, hating being a girl because it kept me from the education I sought. Later, being a female became a barrier between me and the freedom for which I yearned.” Continue reading Huda Sha’arawi
Lillie Devereux Blake, a 19th century American writer and women’s rights reformer, played an important, though often overlooked, presence in social movements in the United States.
In 1833, Elizabeth Johnson Devereux was born in Raleigh, North Carolina to southerner George Pollock Devereux and northerner Sarah Elizabeth Johnson. Following her father’s death in 1837, her mother moved her two daughters back to her home in New Haven, Connecticut, where the young Lillie attended the Apthorp School for Young Ladies. Continue reading Lillie Devereux Blake
“In Scotland they made her a Doctor, In Serbia we would have made her a Saint.” – Serbian saying.
Elsie Inglis was born in Naini Tal, India to Scottish parents. Her father was employed by the East India Company and the family returned to Edinburgh in 1878 when Elsie was 14. Elsie’s parents believed, unusual for this time, that both boys and girls should have equal access to education and were supportive of Elsie’s decision to study medicine. Women won the right to obtain medical degrees in 1876 and when the Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women was opened in 1886 Elsie decided to study there, graduating in 1892. Continue reading Dr Elsie Inglis
What connects Winston Churchill, women’s trades unions, Irish independence, an early 20th century magazine opposing traditional gender concepts and a suffrage petition long enough to carpet a railway platform?
The answer is Esther Roper: suffragist, labour organiser and pioneering writer on gender and sexuality.
Continue reading Esther Roper
Sophie Duleep Singh was an Indian princess, turned rebel suffragette, who marched alongside Emmeline Pankhurst and dedicated her life to the cause of votes for women.
Sophia was born on 8th August 1876, at her family’s stately home in Suffolk. But she was no normal English aristocrat; her father was Maharaja Duleep Singh – the last king of the Sikh empire, who was withdrawn from his throne (after the British Empire conqured the Punjab), and was exiled from India to England a couple of years later when he was still just a teenager. He brought with him the famous Koh-i-noor diamond, which now sits in the crown jewels. He converted to Christianity and enjoyed the favour of Queen Victoria. When Sophia was born she (the Queen) became her godmother. Continue reading Sophia Duleep Singh
This post by Eileen Luscombe first appeared on Women Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
Eileen Mary Casey (1881-1972) suffragette, translator and teacher, was born on 4 April 1881 at Deniliquin, New South Wales, first child of Dr Phillip Forth Casey, surgeon, and Isabella Julia Agnes Raey. Continue reading Eileen Mary Casey
I was honoured to be invited to speak this week at the policy launch in Birmingham for the Women’s Equality Party. I made sure to namecheck a bevvy of wonderful Sheroes! Below is a transcript of my speech (with hyperlinks added for further info.)
“When I was first asked to give a short talk this evening and share the stories of some inspiring Sheroes of history many women came to mind. Should I talk about a woman who rallied for social change, as we are attempting to do, like Emmeline Pankhurst or Margaret Bondfield? Or maybe I should speak about a great historical female leader like Boudica or Cleopatra?