Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘women’s rights’

The Women’s Equality Party is a national political party founded in 2015 by author and journalist Catherine Mayer and broadcaster and author Sandi Toksvig. The party takes inspiration from the suffragettes and this is reflected in the party logo colours of green, purple and white. The mission of the party is to see women enjoy the same rights and opportunities as men and aims for equal representation in politics, business, industry and throughout working life. The party has already ran candidates in local, mayoral elections and in the 2017 General Election.

There are branches in Scotland, including a Grampian branch, based in Keith in Moray.

References: website.

Sources: unknown.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The League was formed nationally in November 1907 after a split from the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). The split was led by full time organiser Teresa Billington-Greig and Charlotte Despard, who along with many others were concerned about the control the Pankhurst family had over the Union and its local branches. There was also disagreement about the militant actions of the WSPU and the new League favoured non-violent forms of dissent such as non-payment of taxes and refusing to take part in the national census.

The branch in Aberdeen was established following a meeting in May 1908 with activists Teresa Billington-Greig, Amy Saunderson (from Forfar) and Aberdeen socialist Christian Farquharson-Kennedy. It was Kennedy who would become the new branch President, with Miss Third (Vice-President), Miss Scott (Secretary), Lily Lippett (Treasurer) and Miss McLeod (Literature Secretary).

The Aberdeen branch was still operational in 1918. The national organisation was still active as a pressure group until 1961.

Related entries: Women’s Social and Political Union and Christian Farquharson-Kennedy

References: Aberdeen Daily Journal, The Women’s Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866 – 1928 (Elizabeth Crawford, Routledge, London., 2001), The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Britain and Ireland: A Regional Survey (Elizabeth Crawford, Routledge, London, 2006), A Guid Cause: the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Scotland (Leah Leneman, Aberdeen University Press, Aberdeen, 1991) and Bajanellas and Semilinas: Aberdeen University and the Education of Women 1860 – 1920 (Lindy Moore, Aberdeen University Press, 1991), The Conciliatory Suffragette (Sarah Pederson in History Scotland, vol.5:2, 2005) and Caroline Phillips: Aberdeen Suffragette and Journalist (Sarah Pederson, Aberdeen, 2018).

Sources: Archives of the national body are held at the Women’s Library, London School of Economics.

Read Full Post »

The League was founded in 1910, with the aim to supplement the work of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) and the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), which it is claimed were in decline. The League issued a magazine in 1912, carrying the same name as the organisation. The group held discussion nights on topics such as the vote, motherhood, temperance and terms and conditions at work, and events were addressed by speakers such as Lady Ramsay (wife of Sir William Ramsay, University of Aberdeen Professor of Humanity) and Louisa Innes Lumsden (pioneer of female education). As well as meetings, the group worked with others in promoting women to be elected the School Board. The President was a Mrs Rhind.

References: Aberdeen Daily Journal, Aberdeen Women’s Social and Franchise League magazine (1912), The Women’s Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866 – 1928 (Elizabeth Crawford, Routledge, London, 2001) and The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Britain and Ireland: A Regional Survey (Elizabeth Crawford, Routledge, London, 2006).

Sources: Aberdeen Women’s Social and Franchise League magazine 1912 (held at Aberdeen University Library).

Read Full Post »

The Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) was formed nationally in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters, Adela, Christabel and Sylvia. The WSPU, in comparison to the moral force of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies, soon adopted direct action (the Union motto became ‘Deeds not Words’), as their main tactic. Members became known as suffragettes as opposed to the older term which was suffragists.

An Aberdeen branch was formed in the spring of 1907 with Lady Ramsay (wife of Sir William Ramsay, University of Aberdeen Professor of Humanity) as President and Caroline Philipps, journalist with the Aberdeen Daily Journal, as Secretary. The branch headquarters were at 41 ½ Union Street (Crown Mansions). Another interesting connection is that when the Pankhurts and other activists visited Aberdeen, they were hosted by Rev. Alexander Webster, veteran of the socialist movement of the 1880s. It was Rev. Webster as well, who in 1908, during a rather raucous visit by Herbert Asquith as part his University of Aberdeen rectorial installation, spoke in support of Emmeline Pankhurst as she tried to move a motion on women’s suffrage.

Aberdeen for a brief while became notable in the votes for women campaign, and was often visited by member of the Pankhurst family and activists from Edinburgh/Glasgow and London. There were a few reasons for this: firstly, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire was a traditional Liberal heartland and after the Liberals took power nationally in 1906 the WSPU campaign was directed squarely towards the party, secondly, the 1907 South Aberdeen by-election which occurred after the sitting Liberal M.P. vacated his seat thereby triggering an election campaign and thirdly, the 1908 campaign for the University of Aberdeen Rectorship which saw opponent of woman’s suffrage, the Liberal Herbert Asquith, nominated.

Direct actions undertaken in the name of the suffragettes included pouring corrosive liquid into letter boxes, putting letter boxes on fire, smashing windows, and in the specific case of Aberdeen, replacing the flags on Balmoral golf course with WSPU colours and cutting the words ‘Release Mrs Pankhurst’ in 12 foot high lettering in the turf in Duthie Park (this last action was apparently undertaken by male medical students). Aberdeen Train Station was also the scene of a whipping incident in December 1912 when Emily Wilding Davison (later to be killed under the King’s horse at the Derby in 1913), came up from London to protest against Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd George who was speaking in Aberdeen. Davison mistook an elderly Baptist Minister for Lloyd George, and whipped him across the face.

The WSPU based in London required militant campaigning. The Aberdeen branch did not appear willing or able to comply with this and Honorary Secretary Caroline Phillips was ousted in January 1909 by the arrival from WSPU in London of Sylvia Pankhurst and activist Ada Flatman. The local branch was now essentially directed by the central office in London and managed by a series of organisers dispatched north.

The national WSPU suffered a major split in 1907, when many of its leaders and members left in protest at the Pankhurst family autocracy and militant tactics, to form the Women’s Freedom League. More splits followed, with Sylvia Pankhurst expelled in 1914, and eventually in 1917 the organisation was eventually disbanded.

Related entries: Women’s Freedom League (Aberdeen) and Rev. Alexander Webster.

References: Aberdeen Daily Journal, The Women’s Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866 – 1928 (Elizabeth Crawford, Routledge, London, 2001), The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Britain and Ireland: A Regional Survey (Elizabeth Crawford, Routledge, London, 2006), A Guid Cause: the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Scotland (Leah Leneman, Aberdeen University Press, Aberdeen, 1991), Bajanellas and Semilinas: Aberdeen University and the Education of Women 1860 – 1920 (Lindy Moore, Aberdeen University Press, 1991), The Conciliatory Suffragette (Sarah Pederson in History Scotland, vol.5:2, 2005) and Caroline Phillips: Aberdeen Suffragette and Journalist (Sarah Pederson, Aberdeen, 2018).

Sources: Correspondence of Caroline Philipps (Watt Collection) is held at Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums. Archives relating to the national body are held at the Women’s Library, London School of Economics.

Read Full Post »

The National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) was formed in 1897 as an umbrella organisation for all the suffrage societies in England, Scotland, and Ireland. It formed from fellow organisations which had previously been a part of the earlier National Society for Women’s Suffrage (formed in 1867), and which had split in the intervening years. The leading light was Millicent Garrett Fawcett (sister of pioneering woman doctor Elizabeth Garret Anderson).

An Aberdeen Women’s Suffrage Association (with around 60 and 70 members) was active in around 1900 (and was a continuation of the earlier National Society for Women’s Suffrage branch), but did not actually affiliate to the National Union until 1905 (Edinburgh and Glasgow affiliated a couple of years before). As well as the usual activities of meetings and campaigning, the group was active in trying to get more women elected to the School Board. The President was Mrs Trail (a veteran of the earlier National Society Branch), Vice-President was Mrs Clegg and Honorary and Secretary/Treasurer was Miss H.E.G. Smith. Later secretaries included: LM Murray (1909), Dorothy Tait (1910) and Mrs Firth (1913) and a later President, from 1908, was pioneer of female education, Louisa Innes Lumsden. The branch headquarters (1913) was 214 Union Street. Like the national Union, many supporters were also part of the Women’s Liberal Associations, and Aberdeen was no different, with Aberdeen liberals such as the Mrs Black (President) and Mrs Allan (Honorary Secretary) active members. The Suffrage Association also had variants of their name – Aberdeen Association for Women’s Suffrage (Non-Militant) and then another variant (Law-Abiding).

At a national level, in 1919, the NUWSS renamed itself as the National Union of Societies for Equal Citizenship.

Related entries: National Society for Women’s Suffrage (Aberdeen).

References: Aberdeen Journal/Aberdeen Daily Journal, The Women’s Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866 – 1928 (Elizabeth Crawford, Routledge, London, 2001), The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Britain and Ireland: A Regional Survey (Elizabeth Crawford, Routledge, London, 2006), A Guid Cause: the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Scotland (Leah Leneman, Aberdeen University Press, Aberdeen, 1991) and Bajanellas and Semilinas: Aberdeen University and the Education of Women 1860 – 1920 (Lindy Moore, Aberdeen University Press, 1991), The Conciliatory Suffragette (Sarah Pederson in History Scotland, vol.5:2, 2005) and Caroline Phillips: Aberdeen Suffragette and Journalist (Sarah Pederson, Aberdeen, 2018).

Sources: Archives of the national body are held at the Women’s Library, London School of Economics.

Read Full Post »

Following the failure to include women in the enlargement of the electorate in the Second Reform Bill of 1867, a National Society for Women’s Suffrage was forrned in London, by Lydia Becker. Soon a branch in Edinburgh was established with further branches in Glasgow and Aberdeen by 1871. The leaders of the Edinburgh branch included Priscilla Bright McLaren (President) and Eliza Wigham (who was a Secretary and who was a veteran of the Edinburgh Ladies’ Emancipation Society in the 1830s/1840s).

An Aberdeen branch was formed in April 1871, following a public meeting in the Music Hall to support claims of women householders, with Dr Elizabeth Garrett Anderson speaking (the pioneering woman doctor and sister of Millicent Garrett Fawcett). Also on the platform were William Lindsay (bookseller and veteran of many local campaigns), Alexander Bain, University of Aberdeen Professor of Logic and Rhetoric (an active supporter of women’s rights and political reform more widely), and also his wife. She was to become Secretary of the new branch and was later a leading light in the Aberdeen Ladies’ Educational Association.

For many years after the 1870s there continued to be speakers coming to Aberdeen (such as Lydia Becker) and local meetings in the homes of members. It is not clear how long the Aberdeen Society branch was active for, yet a continuing organisation, with the name Aberdeen Women’s Suffrage Association, was certainly operating in c.1900. The National Society remained active throughout the 19th century and after splits in the organisation emerged as the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies in 1897.

Related entries: National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (Aberdeen) and William Lindsay.

References: Aberdeen Journal, The Women’s Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866 – 1928 (Elizabeth Crawford, Routledge, London, 2001), The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Britain and Ireland: A Regional Survey (Elizabeth Crawford, Routledge, London, 2006), A Guid Cause: the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Scotland (Leah Leneman, Aberdeen University Press, Aberdeen, 1991) and Bajanellas and Semilinas: Aberdeen University and the Education of Women 1860 – 1920 (Lindy Moore, Aberdeen University Press, 1991).

Sources: Archives of the national body are held at the Women’s Library, London School of Economics.

Read Full Post »

The University student movement was formed nationally in 1908 (it ran until 1918) and an Aberdeen branch was operational in the same year. The Branch issued a magazine called ‘The Suffragette’ in 1908 which was a University Rectorial magazine supporting the candidature of Unionist Sir Edward Carson against Liberal Herbert Asquith, an opponent of women’s suffrage. The Secretary in 1913 was Isabella Leitch and patrons included Mrs Murray (wife of MP James Murray) and Lady Ramsay (wife of Sir William Ramsay, University of Aberdeen Professor of Humanity and President of the Aberdeen branch of the Women’s Social and Political Union).

References: University student directories and Bajanellas and Semilinas: Aberdeen University and the Education of Women 1860 – 1920 (Lindy Moore, Aberdeen, 1991)

Sources: magazine ‘The Suffragette’ (1908).

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »