This research is still very much in its early stages and I feel it raises more questions than it answers. In many respects, it is quite a task to provide a comprehensive overview of all historians’ perspectives of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 and how they have shaped ‘our’ (a very broad term) understanding … More How have historians’ perspectives of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 shaped our understanding of ‘success and failure’ of women’s entry into the legal profession?
Women in the Law: Inspired and Inspirations is a public history project that aims to enrich our understanding of the motivations, experiences and long-term legacy of women in the legal profession then and now. Through primary and secondary source research, including interviews with women in the law, I have sought to find out what or … More Inspiration, Challenges and Legacy: analysis and conclusion
Historically there has always been an element of separation between men and women. Initially, biological differences made women intellectually and bodily inferior but with the emergence of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-nineteenth century social constructions of ‘gender’ came to the fore. While there is some debate among historians with regards to what extent the … More Women: a brief consideration of the social and political conditions in the early twentieth century Britain
Originally posted on Women in the Law: Inspired and Inspirations:
The Sex (Disqualification) Removal Act 1919 widened employment opportunities for women and in particular allowed women to practise as solicitors and barristers. Dr Ivy Williams, the first women called to the bar, Helena Normanton, the first woman to practise at the bar and first women appointed…
Historian Martin Pugh has extensively surveyed the political process and impact between the Representation of the People Act 1918 (allowing women over the age of 30 the right to vote) and the Equality of Franchise Act of 1928. He argued that the “Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 rapidly proved to be a broken reed in … More Perspectives on the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act, 1919
On 22 November 1922 The Daily Mail published “Women’s Call to the Bar” in which ten women law students were “screened” for call. Some continued at the bar, some left to pursue a different life or career and others became twentieth-century legal pioneers. Theodora Llewellyn-Davis, the first woman to be admitted to the Inner Temple on … More The First Women Cohort Called to the Bar, 1922
Western Daily Press adopts the title “Portia’s Progress” with reference to the triumph of the first woman to pass the bar examinations. Aspiring women lawyers were often linked in the popular press to Portia, Shakespeare’s character in The Merchant of Venice. The quick-witted, wealthy, beautiful heroine proves an excellent model of advocacy, vigorously applying the … More Portia’s Progress