Woman’s Rights…we take a lot for grated these days. It never occurred to me that Title IX was anything but some government gibberish. What does it mean to a kid, anyway? And how many kids today can tell you what it means? I had no idea it meant I could play sports or there was a time when girls couldn’t, even AFTER we got the right to vote.
Queen Victoria: She ruled huge expanses of the world. Her image was everywhere. People knew everything about her. Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; the first Empress of India of the British Raj; Princess of Hanover and Duchess of Brunswick and Lunenburg; Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duchess in Saxony. Pretty impressive, huh. Other women were not so lucky.
You couldn’t obtain a divorce without an act of parliament until the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857. The first divorce initiated by a woman was only in 1801—and that woman proved her husband slept with her sister (not just the stuff of books!) AND got full custody of her children. Plus this act allowed women to keep control of their money if separated from their husbands.
In 1839 The Custody of Infants Act was passed in England: This allowed married women of unblemished character to have access to their children after separation or divorce. Access only. Still, if you fought long enough, dirty enough, and had some great proof, it was possible to gain full custody.
Want to go to college? Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman took place after the Civil War, but prior to that, it’d be harder.
There were 3:
Oberlin College (women admitted 1833, African-Americans 1834).
Antioch College. When it opened in 1853, the college had 1 female professor: Rebecca Pennell, who was the first female college professor in the United States to have the same rank and pay as her male colleagues.
Bates College was founded in 1855 by abolitionists and was coeducational from inception.
The first women’s college in England? Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, founded in 1878 by Elizabeth Wordsworth, (great-niece to poet William Wordsworth and daughter of Christopher Wordsworth, Bishop of Lincoln).
In 1874, The London School of Medicine for Women was founded for the medical education of women.
In 1878 The University of London was the first to equity degrees: Women now received on on the same terms as men.
The very first government to give women the right to vote?
During the Swedish age of liberty (1718-1771), tax-paying female members of guilds, (most often widows), were allowed to vote, and stand for election, until
1771 when a new constitution was introduced.
1755: Corsica but it was rescinded upon annexation by France in 1769 (see France’s record of women’s voting below)
1756-1778: Massachusetts, Lydia Taft, Uxbridge, Massachusetts town meeting
1776: New Jersey (rescinded in 1807) What? Damn my state! We could’ve been known for something other than high taxes, garbage, mobsters, jokes!
For more, see the Wiki timeline here
OK, OK, really it was New Zealand and Rarotonga (capital of the Cook Islands).
Women in Rarotonga were given the right to vote in 1893, shortly after New Zealand. (England, 1928, America 1920, Spain [a woman could be elected but not vote in a election] before 1933 but only until the Franco Regime then again not until 1976…France? 1944 under the Vichy Nazi puppet government —HUH?)
PLAY: BBC History: Women’s Rights.