My FEMBruary Challenge Number 1 has been going well, to photograph, share and celebrate some of the female figures in my toy soldier collection.
Today’s figure combines the women’s right to vote Centenary on 6 February 2018 and the wider focus on women’s role in the war as part of WW100 and the First World War Centenary Partnership.
At the outbreak of war in 1914, Emmeline Pankhurst’s Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), one of the leading voices for women’s suffrage, had firmly decided to embrace the war effort.
She halted their increasingly militant and destructive campaign for women’s suffrage for the duration of the war. This move divided her family and the suffragette movement.
Emmeline Pankhurst redirected her efforts to push for an increased role for women in support of the war, particularly in industrial jobs, so that women could directly help the war effort.
The “shell scandal” of lack of artillery shells and munitions for the British troops in 1915 saw a need to put more workers into the munitions factories to replace those male workers left for military service.
On March 17 1915 the Board of Trade set up the Women’s War Service Register to pair willing women with jobs in war industries. Some parts of the British government was not overly enthusiastic about the plan. By the end of 1915, only 8500 of the 42000 registered women had been matched to jobs.
On July 17 1915, Emmeline Pankhurst and the WSPU organized the Women’s Right to Serve march in London, in support of the hiring of women in the munitions industry, demanding the same pay as men.
This “Right To Serve” would doubly contribute to the war effort, both by producing munitions and freeing up men to serve on the front.
The Women’s Right to Serve march received direct support from Lloyd George’s Ministry of Munitions. Despite these efforts, hiring of women into jobs vacated by men via the government Register set up for the purpose remained lacklustre throughout the rest of 1915.
More about the women’s Right to Serve March at
Photographs at the National Archive of the Right to Serve March
There is an interesting photograph on this Alexander Palace blog showing Emmeline Pankhurst with Maria Bochkariev.
“Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst, who had arrived in Russia in June 1917, showed her appreciation of the wonderful sacrifice made by the women of the the Battalion of Death by becoming an ardent champion of Maria Bochkarieva. The latter, in turn, appreciated Mrs. Pankhurst’s sympathy, and a warm friendship sprang up between these two leaders of women.”
Mrs Pankhurst and the Battalion of Death – There’s a FEMbruary double for you that I didn’t expect.
Time is running out with only a week left of FEMBruary, I’m not sure if my third FEMbruary challenge, converting a Mexican peasant woman figure into a Suffragette will be complete in a week. If only I could find an extension of the FEMbruary painting challenge into March somehow?
Maybe I could finish my suffragette over the next week or two. Aha! There’s always #MARCH, the MARCHing figure, MARCHing parade or MARCHing band painting challenge that I just thought of. Sweet Procrastination!
It is according to the blog of CupcakesandMachetes, also Women’s History Month in March, and so has already linked to blogger Imperial Rebel Ork, who was my accidental introduction to FEMbruary via the Suburban Militarism blog.
Women’s History Month is always held in March so that it coincides with the celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8. In 2018, Women’s History Month will run from March 1 to March 31 and is marked in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.
International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first March 8 IWD gathering supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women equality. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organisation specific. Make IWD your day! – everyday! https://www.internationalwomensday.com
It probably started in 1908 / 1909 New York and has been on March 8th since 1913 http://www.un.org/en/events/womensday/history.shtml
In 2011, former US President Barack Obama coined or proclaimed March to be ‘Women’s History Month’.
Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on 21st FEMbruary 2018.