Who Do You Think You Are?
Women After The Great War
Women made rapid changes to their lives at the end of the First World War, and helped to reshape their world so that they could more fully participate. Women’s football emerged as the new activity in female sports, with newspapers reporting on all-female matches. Remarkable women were busy changing other people’s lives, too. Eglantyne Jebb founded Save the Children, in response to the plight of the children of Europe. Marie Stopes opened Britain’s first birthcontrol clinic, as well as writing a book on the subject, Married
Love. The 1919
Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act removed the bar on women entering the professions, and enabled female jurors to takee seats on adultery cases.
Even in lesssalubrious areas of life, women were making their mark. A notorious gang of female shoplifters known as the ‘Forty Elephants’, operating since at least the late 19th century, robbed West End stores. Kate Meyrick ran nightclubs that operated as pick-up spots for returning soldiers. And Agatha Christie was writing detective novels at the same time as reallife murderer Edith Thompson was making headlines.
This exploration of key stages of change for women is a good read for anyone who is unfamiliar with this territory.