17 March 2022

Beyond the ballot: Girls’ education, women’s welfare and the Bristol suffragists

The actions of the Suffragettes have long overshadowed those of their Suffragist sisters.

This is particularly true in Bristol where, under the leadership of the Women’s Social and Political Union’s (WSPU) Annie Kenney, a number of high-profile incidents continue to stir the popular imagination.

However, while the Bristol Suffragettes may have captured more headlines, it was the more moderate members of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) who made the greatest impact in terms of transforming the lives of women and, more specifically, girls in Bristol during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In this talk, Alison McClean will examine the involvement of a number of prominent Bristol suffragists, including Agnes Beddoe, Emily Sturge and Susannah Winkworth. The talk will cover the establishment and reform of girls’ schools; the promotion of access to higher education; the provision of affordable housing for working women and girls; and support for women’s participation in trade union activity.

In doing so this talk will consider the campaign for women’s suffrage in Bristol as part of a broader effort by the Bristol suffragists to improve women’s living and working conditions and to extend the educational opportunities afforded to girls in Bristol.

Speaker: Dr Alison McClean is a Lecturer in History and Foundation Studies at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Her work on girls’ education and the women’s suffrage movement in Bristol featured in the Vote100 commemorations organised by the University of Oxford in 2018.

This is a UWE Regional History Centre talk in partnership with M Shed seminar series.

How to take part

This free, online talk will be held over Zoom. Please book your place below. Details of how to join the session will be in your registration email. Please check your spam folder if the email does not arrive. Bookings close at 2pm on Thursday 17 March.

Although this talk is free, we would be grateful if you could consider making a donation.

Please visit the Zoom website for guidance on joining meetings.