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Changing Roles of Women in the 19th, 20th & 21st Centuries
Transcript of Changing Roles of Women in the 19th, 20th & 21st Centuries
In the 16th century women were martyred for their religious beliefs and were called witches. They refused to compromise even if tortured.
In the 16th and 17th centuries the professions (teacher, lawyer, doctor) were closed to women. However some women had jobs. Some of them worked spinning cloth. Women were also tailoresses, milliners, dyers, shoemakers and embroiderers. There were also washerwomen. Some women worked in food preparation such as brewers, bakers or confectioners. Women also sold foodstuffs in the streets. A very common job for women was domestic servant. Other women were midwives and apothecaries.
Grace O' Malley, or Granuaile, the 'Sea Queen of Connacht' was a very wealthy shipping and trade business woman from Co. Mayo. She was also allegedly a pirate. She was involved in the rebellion against the English and once visited Queen Elizabeth I.
In the 16th century marriages were usually arranged, except for the poorest people. Divorce was unknown. Legally girls could marry when they were 12 years old. However normally it was only girls from rich families who married young. The majority of women married in their mid-20s.
Women in Britain gradually gained more rights during the 19th century. In 1865 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836-1917) became the first British woman doctor. Elizabeth also became the first woman in Britain to become mayor of a town (Aldeburgh) in 1908. The first woman in Britain to qualify as a dentist was Lilian Lindsay in 1895. The first woman to qualify as an architect in Britain was Ethel Charles in 1898.
In 1869 the philosopher John Stuart Mill published his book
'The Subjection of Women'
, which demanded equal rights for women. He worked closely with his step daughter Helen Taylor who was a well known writer and feminist at the time. Queen Victoria famously criticised the book and called it 'wicked'.
In 19th century Britain & Ireland working conditions were often appalling but parliament passed laws to protect women and children. In 1842 a law banned women and boys under 10 from working underground. Then in 1847 a Factory Act said that women and children could only work 10 hours a day in textile factories.
Australian women are allowed to stand for election in 1902. However this right or the right to vote did not fully extend to aboriginal women until 1962.
Emmeline Pankhurst formed the militant
Women's Social & Political Union
in Britain which was dedicated to achieving universal suffrage for women.
In the same year Marie Curie won the Noble Prize for Physics. She won it again for Chemistry in 1911.
146 garment workers died tragically in The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911. Of the 146 victims 123 were women. The fire highlighted poor safety standards and practices in factories and started a chain reaction of safety improvements in industry worldwide.
On the 4th of June 1913 Emily Davison, a well known suffragette, stepped in front of the King's Horse at the Epsom Derby. It was an act of protest. She died of her injuries 4 days later.
On March 8, 1917, women in St. Petersburg, Russia, staged a strike to protest food shortages, poor living conditions, and Russian involvement in World War One. This strike for “bread and peace” helped give rise to the Russian Revolution of 1917, one of the most significant events of the 20th Century.
Countess Markievicz of Sligo was a revolutionary nationalist, suffragette and socialist. In December 1918, she was the first woman elected to the British House of Commons, though she did not take her seat and, along with other Sinn Féin TDs, formed the first Dáil Éireann in Dublin. She was also one of the first women in the world to hold a cabinet position (Minister for Labour of the Irish Republic, 1919–1922)
Amelia Earhart was a pioneer aviator, becoming in May 1932 the first woman to fly alone over the Atlantic Ocean. She also completed in January 1935 the treacherous solo flight from Hawaii to California—all previous attempts had ended in disaster. She disappeared somewhere in the Pacific in 1937 while attempting to fly around the world.
Rosa Parks stood up by sitting down in 1955 on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus. On December 1, 1955, she was arrested for refusing to give her seat to a white man, in violation of the city’s racial segregation ordinances. Her arrest sparked a boycott that lasted a year and ended with the Supreme Court declaring the segregated seating unconstitutional. The boycott is commonly considered the spark that ignited the U.S. civil rights movement, and she became known as the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.”
In 1960 Sri Lankan stateswoman Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike made history, becoming the world’s first woman prime minister. Though the first, she wasn’t the last, and she paved the way for future leaders, such as Indira Gandhi (India’s first woman prime minister), Benazir Bhutto (Pakistan first woman prime minister and the first woman in modern history to lead a Muslim country), Margaret Thatcher (Britain’s first woman prime minister), Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (Central America’s first woman leader), and many, many others.
On June 16, 1963, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to travel into space. She was launched in the spacecraft Vostok 6, which completed 48 orbits in 71 hours. She was later named a Hero of the Soviet Union and was twice awarded the Order of Lenin.
In the past women's rights varied from culture to culture. In Ancient Egypt women had a great deal of freedom and many rights. They could come and go as they pleased. They could own property and they could sign contracts. A famous woman Pharaoh called Hatshepsut once ruled Egypt.
In Ancient Greece although people worshipped goddesses as well as gods women had fewer rights than in Egypt. Women played little part in public life. In a wealthy family women were kept apart from men. They were usually confined to the back or upper part of the house. Girls married when they were about 15. Marriages were arranged for them and often their husband was much older than them.
In a rich family the wife was expected to run the home and, sometimes, to manage the finances. However rich women would normally stay indoors and send slaves to do the shopping. Poor women, of course, had no choice. They might also have to help their husbands with farm work. Women, even rich ones, were expected to spin and weave cloth and make clothes.
Celtic women had a good deal of freedom and many rights. Celtic women could rule in their own right. One famous woman of the ancient world was Bouddica. She was queen of the Iceni, a Celtic tribe who lived in Britain. She led a rebellion against Roman rule.
In the Middle Ages it was not unusual for middle class women to run their own businesses. In England the mystic Margery Kempe ran a brewery and later a horse mill, using horses to grind corn. Women married to craftsmen usually learned their husband's trade and carried it on if their husband died.
In the 16th century some upper class women were highly educated. (Elizabeth I was well educated and she liked reading). They learned music and dancing and needlework. They also learned to read and write and they learned languages like Greek and Latin, Spanish, Italian and French.
During the 1700's boarding schools for girls were founded in many towns. In them girls were taught subjects like writing, music and needlework.
It was considered more important for girls to learn 'accomplishments' than to study academic subjects.
Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer, philosopher and advocate of women's rights. She wrote a very important book called
'A Vindication of the Rights of Women'
. In the book she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education.
Mary's daughter (Mary Shelley) was also a famous writer. She wrote one of the most famous books in modern literature:
. She had to publish the book anonymously because there was a lot of prejudice against women writers at this time.
The Brontë Sisters
Charlotte, Emily & Anne Brontë were famous English writers from the 19th Century. Between them they wrote some of the most celebrated novels in world literature. Charlotte wrote
and Anne wrote
'The Tenant of Wildfell Hall'.
At the time they published their works under male pseudonyms because they would not have been read otherwise. Their father, Patrick, was from Ireland.
In 1874 the first successful typewriter went on sale and the telephone was invented in 1876. These two new inventions meant more job opportunities for women. Ultimately technological and economic change transformed the lives of women.
Sister Catherine McCauley
Was an Irish nun, who founded the Sisters of Mercy. The Order has always been associated with teaching, especially in Ireland, where the nuns taught Catholics at a time when education was mainly reserved for Protestants
Until the late 19th century everything a married woman had was, legally her husbands property. Married Woman's Property Acts were passed in 1870, 1882 and 1893. They stated that a married woman's earnings belonged to her and allowed married women to own, buy and sell property the same as a single woman.
In 1893 New Zealand became the first country in the world to allow women to vote in national elections.
in the 19th, 20th & 21st Centuries
Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington formed the
Irish Women's Franchise League
with the aim of achieving women's voting rights. She was also a socialist, a nationalist and was opposed to World War One.
Her husband was executed by the British Army during the 1916 Rising in Dublin despite being a pacifist. Hanna was a thorn in the side of the British Government for years. They actively attempted to limit her movements and often put her in jail.
"Bread and Peace!"
Bernadette Devlin McAliskey is an Irish socialist and republican political activist. She was elected to the House of Commons in 1969 at the age of 22. She is best remembered for her condemnation of the Bloody Sunday. She was shot seven times in her home by a group of terrorists in 1981 but survived.
Shirley Chisholm became the first woman and the first African-American to seek the nomination of the Democratic Party for President of the United States.
Dana Rosemary Scallon won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1970 with "All Kinds of Everything", a worldwide multi-million seller.
She entered politics in 1997, running unsuccessfully in the Irish presidential election, but later being elected as the MEP for Connacht–Ulster.
'Second-wave Feminism' began in the 1960's in the United States but became a huge worldwide phenomenon in the 1970's. Where 'First-wave Feminism' of the early 1900's focused mainly on suffrage, the second wave broadened the focus to include many issues, including equality in the workplace and equality of opportunity. What this means is that women should have the right to perform jobs that were traditionally reserved for men. For example: soldiers, builders, law enforcement, television presenters.
Nell McCafferty was a well-known Irish
feminist. She was a journalist famous for her outspoken opinions on sexism in Irish society.
Mnay of the protests that she organised and
participated in brought about significant
changes for women in Ireland.
Sandra Day O'Connor is sworn in as the first woman justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
The 'marriage bar', which prevented married women from working in the civil service was lifted.
Sinéad O' Connor became a worlwide pop
sensation in 1987 with the release of her song
'Mandinka'. It earned her a Grammy Nomination
for 'Best Female Vocalist'. Since then, while maintaining her singing career, she has occasionally encountered controversy, partly due to her statements and gestures - such as her ordination as a priest despite being a woman with a Roman Catholic background - and her strongly expressed views on organised religion, women's rights, war, and child abuse.
Mary Robinson was the first female President
of Ireland. She served as President from 1990
to 1997. She went on to become the United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,
a very prestigious role.
Mary McAleese became the second female President of Ireland in 1997. She remained in this role until 2011. She is the first women in the world to succeed
another woman as a national president and she is the first person from Northern Ireland to serve as President of the Republic of Ireland.
Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan Maguire
won the Nobel Peace Prize this year for their work with
Community of Peace People
, an organisation dedicated to promoting a peaceful resolution to The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
Veronica Guerin was a crime reporter with the
when she was shot dead by gangsters in 1996. She was an extremely brave woman who was not afraid to challenge the stranglehold that drug lords held over inner-city Dublin. Her murder stunned the nation and the subsequent public outrage led to the establishment of the
Criminal Assets Bureau
Sonia O' Sullivan was one of the world's leading female 5000m runners for most of the 1990's and early 2000's. Her crowning achievement was a gold medal in the 5000m at the 1995 World Athletics Championships. She won silver medals in the 5000m at the 2000 Olympic Games and in the 1500m at the 1993 World Championships. She has also won three European Championship gold medals and two World Cross-Country Championship gold medals.
The Magdalene Sisters
highlighted for an international audience
the deeply sad plight of the young Irish women who were incarcerated in the
throughout the 20th Century. These institutions run by nuns enslaved women, institutionalizing them against their will, and stripping them of their rights and identities. Women were locked away performing menial domestic chores such as laundering prison and priest’s uniforms, cooking, scrubbing floors and windows and caring for the sick and aging nuns.
Katie Taylor is considered to be one of the greatest Irish Sports Persons of all time. She won the gold medal for boxing in the London Olympics and is widely regarded as being the world ambassador for Women's Boxing. She has also played for the Republic of Ireland Women's Soccer Team and has played Gaelic Football.
Malala Yousafzai is a 16 year old schoolgirl and blogger from Pakistan. She blogged about how the Taliban were actively preventing girls from attending school in her region. On the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, on the way to school, she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman. She survived. The incident sparked international outrage and sympathy for the plight of women in some Middle Eastern countries where they often live extremely controlled existences.
On January the 8th 2014 Kathleen Hayes Snavely of Syracuse, New York became the longest-living Irish-born person in history. She was born in Feakle, Co. Clare in 1902. She is 111 years old. WOW!
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is set to allow women to vote and run for office in 2015.
The future of Equal Rights for Women is in your hands!