21st Feb, 2020

How the war helped give women a chance

Aaron Wise 18th Jan, 2017

A UNIVERSITY of Worcester historian is inviting residents to a talk to learn about how housewives’ lives were transformed during the First World War.

Maggie Andrews, professor of cultural history at the University, will host a talk at The Hive tonight (Wednesday), where she will explain how the transformation of housewives into social reformers was one of the war’s greatest legacies.

The scholar believes the 1914-1918 conflict enabled a number of women in the county to develop their skills through voluntary work, which helped them to become politically or socially active.

Titled ‘Volunteers and Voters: World War 1’, the talk includes Lady Isabelle Margesson, Edith Hooper, Mary Pakington and Annie Rusher, who became justices of the peace, ran women’s organisations, wrote plays and campaigned for improvements in mother and child welfare during the inter-war years.

Professor Andrews said: “The war increased the number of opportunities for housewives. They organised charities, Women’s Institutes and raised money for wounded soldiers and vulnerable groups.

“They also turned their homes into convalescence hospitals, entertained injured troops and organised mother and baby clinics all in the interests of supporting the war effort.”

The event is free and will run from 6pm to 7pm.

Visit www.thehiveworcester.org to book a place or for more information.

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