Monday, November 9, 2020

Bradley and Rowland on women's access to law in England

 Kate Bradley (University of Kent) and Sophie Rowland (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) have published "A poor woman's lawyer? Feminism, the labour movement, and working-class women's access to the law in England, 1890-1935," Women's History Review (17 Aug. 2020). Here's the abstract: 

Women were excluded from both branches of the legal profession before the Sex Discrimination (Removal) Act 1919. Whilst campaigning for women's entry to the law was also part of wider efforts to make the law more accessible. Before and after the 1919 Act, middle-class women were able to offer legal support to working-class women, through feminist and trade unionist networks and the professions that were open to them—factory inspection and social work. By examining key women’s organisations between the 1890s and 1930s, we trace the development of work to both educate women and girls on their legal rights and to directly tackle problems and breaches of the law. We argue that, by looking at the legal activism of women in the factory inspectorate, social work, trade union and women's organisations, fresh insight into the development and ‘mainstreaming’ of working-class claims on citizenship in the early twentieth century can be found.

Further information is available here.

--Mitra Sharafi