WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH, DECLARED BY THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S HISTORY PROJECT

•           1987: Generations of Courage, Compassion, and Conviction
•           1988: Reclaiming the Past, Rewriting the Future
•           1989: Heritage of Strength and Vision
•           1990: Courageous Voices – Echoing in Our Lives
•           1991: Nurturing Tradition, Fostering Change
•           1992: A Patchwork of Many Lives
•           1993: Discover a New World
•           1994: In Every Generation, Action Frees Our Dreams
•           1995: Promises to Keep
•           1996: See History in a New Way
•           1997: A Fine and Long Tradition of Community Leadership;
•           1998:Living the Legacyot;


•           1999: Women Putting Our Stamp on America
•           2000:An Extraordinary Century for Women 1900-2000
•           2001: Celebrating Women of Courage and Vision
•           2002: Women Sustaining the American Spirit
•           2003: Women Pioneering the Future
•           2004: Women Inspiring Hope and Possibility
•           2005: Women Change America
•           2006: Women, Builders of Communities and Dreams
•           2007: Generations of Women Moving History Forward
•           2008: Women’s Art Women’s Vision
•           2009: Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet
•           2010: Writing Women Back into History
•           2011: Our History is Our Strength
•           2012: Women’s Education – Women’s Empowerment
•           2013: Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination:Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
•           2014: Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment
•           2015: Weaving the Stories of Womens Lives

INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY

International Womens Day, a global celebration of the economic, political and social achievements of women, took place for the first time on March 8, 1911. Many countries around the world celebrate the holiday with demonstrations, educational initiatives and customs such as presenting women with gifts and flowers. The United Nations has sponsored International Women’s Day since 1975. When adopting its resolution on the observance of International Womens Day, the United Nations General Assembly cited the following reasons: “To recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security.

IN THE UK WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH WAS CELEBRATED IN 2011 AND 2012

Women’s History Month was celebrated in the UK in 2011 and 2012. A website was set up but has since apparently been abandoned.

WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE IN BRITAIN ANDTHE GREAT REFORM ACT OF 1832

 

Lily Maxwell was the first woman to vote in Britain in 1867 after the Great Reform Act of 1832. The act had explicitly excluded all women from the voting in national elections by using the term “male” rather than “person” in its wording. Maxwell, a shop owner, met the property qualifications that otherwise would have made her eligible to vote had she been male. In error, however, her name had been added to the election register and on that basis she succeeded in voting in a by-election – her vote however was later declared illegal by the Court of Common Pleas. The case, however, gave women’s suffrage campaigners great publicity.

FEMALE SUFFRAGE IN BRITAIN ANDTHE CHARTIST MOVEMENT IN 1830

The Chartist Movement, which began in the late 1830s, has also been suggested to have included supporters of female suffrage. There is some evidence to suggest William Lovett, one of the authors of the People’s Charter wished to include female suffrage as one of the campaign’s demands but chose not to on the grounds that this would delay the implementation of the charter. Although there were female Chartists, they largely worked toward universal male suffrage. At this time most women did not have aspirations to gain the vote.

Outside pressure for women’s suffrage was at this time diluted by feminist issues in general. Women’s rights were becoming increasingly prominent in the 1850s as some women in higher social spheres refused to obey the sex roles dictated to them. Feminist goals at this time included the right to sue an ex-husband after divorce (achieved in 1857) and the right for married women to own property (fully achieved in 1882 after some concession by the government in 1870).

The issue of parliamentary reform declined along with the Chartists after 1848 and only reemerged with the election of John Stuart Mill in 1865. He stood for office showing direct support for female suffrage and was an MP in the run up to the second Reform Act.

        

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