Quiet Revolutionaries

A history of forgotten feminist campaigns

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Tuesday Nov 01, 2022

This final episode reflects upon the legacy of the Married Women’s Association. As well as exploring the significance of reform in which MWA members played a key part, such as the Matrimonial Homes Act 1967, the relevance of their campaigns are considered in the context of women’s equality today.   Music by Axletree. https://marriedwomensassociation.co.uk/ 

Tuesday Oct 18, 2022

This penultimate episode explores how the Married Women’s Association and Edith Summerskill were powerful forces in delaying the enactment of divorce reform in 1969. By blocking the Divorce Reform Act's passage, it was possible for the association to persuade those in power to redefine family law proposals in feminist terms.   Music by Axletree. https://marriedwomensassociation.co.uk/

Tuesday Oct 11, 2022

MWA Vice-President Teresa Billington-Greig once said that 'reform movements are like builders'; gradually erecting structures in which we can live better lives, one brick at a time. This sixth episode explores how the MWA had some success in reforming the law when pursuing this step-by-step approach. It also tells the story of Lily Ince, a wife sent to prison indefinitely for hiding property from her husband.   Music by Axletree. https://marriedwomensassociation.co.uk/

Tuesday Oct 04, 2022

In 1952, the Married Women's Association (MWA) had a shocking row that made the front pages of national newspapers and led to the resignation of virtually its entire Executive Committee. This was because of the actions of the then-President of the MWA: barrister Helena Normanton. This fifth episode takes a closer look at this fight. And, in the second half of this episode, we learn more about MWA member Doreen Gorsky, who was the first female BBC Executive. Music by Axletree.

Tuesday Sep 27, 2022

This fourth episode focuses on Dorothy Blackwell's legal battle with her husband over ownership of housekeeping savings in the 1940s. We explore how her story powerfully represented the experiences of many married women just like her, exposed the injustices of the law, and became the Married Women’s Association’s most effective propaganda tool. Music by Axletree. https://marriedwomensassociation.co.uk/ 

Tuesday Sep 20, 2022

In this third episode, we will take a closer look at what the Married Women's Association wanted to achieve. The group had evolving ideas about how the law should be reformed to make marriage a more equal partnership. Music by Axletree. https://marriedwomensassociation.co.uk/

Tuesday Sep 13, 2022

In this second episode, we will look inside the Married Women's Association to explore who some of these members were, including prominent MPs, early female lawyers and famous authors. While many members of the Association were pioneering in their own right, their strident personalities could also make them difficult to work with.   Music by Axletree. https://marriedwomensassociation.co.uk/

Wednesday Sep 07, 2022

The story in this first episode explores what happened next after women over thirty got the vote in 1918. This is important because many assume - incorrectly - that the women’s movement became dormant until the birth of second wave feminism in the 1960s. It most certainly did not. And, we will see how and why the Married Women’s Association was formed, at the brink of the Second World War.   Music by Axletree. https://marriedwomensassociation.co.uk/

Thursday Sep 01, 2022

A preview of the new podcast series Quiet Revolutionaries. Website: https://marriedwomensassociation.co.uk/  Music by Axletree: https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Axletree/ 


Quiet Revolutionaries

Over eight episodes, this podcast explores through a series of interviews and archival research why it’s so important to know about the British Married Women’s Association; a small pressure group of the mid-twentieth century who fought for equal partnership in marriage.

You’ll hear actors bring the words of this group to life. You’ll hear directly from family and friends of these activists. And, you’ll hear from other historians of the women’s movement.

Whether you’re interested in the history of the women’s movement, gender and the law, or more generally in hidden histories, join Dr Sharon Thompson to find out more about the quiet revolutionaries of the Married Women's Association.



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