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A Poor Woman’s Lawyer? Feminism, the labour movement, and working-class women’s access to the law in England, 1890-1935

Bradley, Kate, Rowland, Sophie (2020) 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, . ISSN 0961-2025. E-ISSN 1747-583X. (doi:10.1080/09612025.2020.1803544) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:82240)

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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 an end in itself, it was also part of wider efforts to make the law more accessible to all. Before and after the 1919 Act, middle- and upper-class women were able to offer legal advice and case work to working-class women, by making use of both feminist and trade unionist networks and the professions that were open to them – factory inspection and social work. Through examination of the work of the Women’s Industrial Council, the Women’s Trade Union League and the Young Women’s Christian Association 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.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/09612025.2020.1803544
Uncontrolled keywords: legal advice; feminism; feminist law; trade unions; legal activism; citizenship; social work; lawyers; factory inspectors; class.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV40 Charities
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women > HQ1236 Women and the state. Women's rights. Women's political activity
H Social Sciences > HS Societies: secret, benevolent, etc.
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV27 Philanthropists
K Law > KD England and Wales
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Kate Bradley
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2020 14:39 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:14 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/82240 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Bradley, Kate: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9855-4014
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