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Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1918-1939The Interwar Period$
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Catherine Clay, Maria DiCenzo, Barbara Green, and Fiona Hackney

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474412537

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474412537.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Feminist Media and Agendas for Change: Introduction

Feminist Media and Agendas for Change: Introduction

(p.312) (p.313) Feminist Media and Agendas for Change: Introduction
Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1918-1939

Maria DiCenzo

Edinburgh University Press

THERE HAS BEEN a concerted effort in recent years to reassess the accounts of demise and defeat that figure so prominently in the history of interwar feminism. The tendency to characterise reform efforts in these years as conservative, compared with the insurgency of the pre-war suffrage campaign, has obscured the breadth of feminist activism and the attempts to politicise the domestic sphere in the aftermath of war and suffrage. The Representation of the People Bill in 1918 granted the vote to women over thirty (those who met the property requirement). It was regarded as a major victory by the women’s movement and provided further impetus to advocate for equality of rights and opportunities. It took another ten years of campaigning before women were granted the right to vote on the same terms as men, and in the process groups worked tirelessly for the emancipation of women on a variety of fronts – from birth control, family allowances, guardianship rights, equal pay, and abolition of the marriage bar, to an equal role for women in the League of Nations. Rather than deactivating feminism, the war generated new problems and complicated old ones. At the national level, demobilisation intensified competition between women and men in the workforce in the 1920s, leading to major public policy debates around labour-related and family welfare issues. At the same time, postwar political diplomacy fuelled the involvement of feminists in international campaigns to intervene in conflicts and to promote world peace. As the following chapters reveal, these causes drew support from existing and new constituencies of participants. In a landscape of radically changing social and economic conditions, feminists embraced political opportunities in the face of challenges and opposition....

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