The simple life…?• At the start of the Twentieth Century, women had a very stereotypical role in British society. If married, they stayed at home to look after the children while their husband worked and brought in a weekly wage. If single, they did work which usually involved some form of service such as working as a waitress, cooking etc. Many young women were simply expected to get married and have children.• The culture of the time meant that very few women were skilled in any obvious profession and, therefore, there were few jobs that paid well for women during the nineteenth century.
Some rights• During the nineteenth century, women had no political rights though there had been some movement in other areas to advance the rights of women. – In 1839, a law was passed which stated that if a marriage broke down and the parents separated, children under seven years of age should stay with their mother. – In 1857, women could divorce husbands who were cruel to them or husbands who had left them. – In 1870, women were allowed to keep money they had earned. – In 1891, women could not be forced to live with husbands unless they wished to.
… but not political!By 1900 most working men could vote if thehad a permanent address women could not.
Making a living• A table of employment gives an example of where women worked in 1900 : Type of employment # women employed domestic servants 1,740,800 teachers 124,000 nurses 68,000 doctors 212
Suffragists and suffragettesuse sources to identify the aims and tactics of the Suffragettes
Suffragists This pamphlet reflects the fact that when the womens movement was at its grimmest with forced feeding and hunger strikes, Cicely Hamilton was using humour to show just how ludicrous the arguments of those who opposed votes for women were
About Cicely Hamilton• Cicely Mary Hamill was born in 1872. After going to boarding school in Malvern she became a pupil teacher in the early 1890s. She left to become an actress with a touring company and at the same time changed her surname to Hamilton. During this time she also began writing plays. Her most well known play is Diana of Dobsons.• In 1908 she joined the WSPU, but disliked the way Emmeline Pankhurst ran the organisation and soon left to join the Womens Freedom League. She was also a founder member of the Actresses Franchise League and the Women Writers Suffrage League.• During World War One she was a nurse and later started a repertory company to entertain troops. After the War she became a freelance journalist. She died in 1952.