Event, General, Politics, Women's History

‘A Call to Arms’ … The Crimea to The Blitz – Ministering Angels

Mrs Rebecca Strong, one of Mrs Deeble’s ladies at Netley, wrote: ‘There was normally an orderly attached to each ward, but they were often taken away for relief work such as coal carrying, etc. Each sister had from six to eight of these wards under her charge, and speedily found that the nursing must be done by herself … A special orderly could be had in emergencies, but the nursing was nil.’

Biography, Politics, Women's History

Margaret Sanger – Fighting for Reproductive Rights

Margaret Sanger treated many women who had illegal and dangerous abortion procedures. She fought for birth control information and contraception to be made available, and found it essential to women’s health for this information to be legal … It was very dangerous for Sanger to provide her services and information and she often risked jail time in order to help women.

In 1914, Sanger started The Woman Rebel, a feminist publication. She wanted to provide women with information about contraception. Sanger openly challenged the state and federal Comstock Act, which criminalized contraceptives (“American Experience: Margaret Sanger”). In 1916, Sanger was arrested for opening the first birth control clinic in the country. She worked toward better forms of contraception other than the diaphragm, which was expensive. Sanger helped with the creation of Enovid, the first oral contraceptive …


Molly Hadfield – A Radical Warrior Woman Remembered

… when Molly Hadfield was 10, she was told that nursing was not for her – ‘you can’t do the exams’ – but she would be welcome to work in the nurses’ dining room. She took the job. Under the rules lunches were set out on tables for nurses, but sisters and matrons’ meals were kept in the oven. Sisters and matrons sat down to piping hot fare. Cold and cooling meals waited until nurses finished their shifts. The unfairness of the hierarchical system struck Molly Hadfield then and stuck with her, as did the distinction made between kitchen and nursing staff which prevented her from meeting on the premises with cousins and friends who were nurses.

Event, Politics, Women's History

The Women ‘who never cry’: British Women Released by Germany

The women were more fortunate than the 150 white men, who were taken back to Prisoner of War camps in Germany. And that privileging of women was a common pattern in WW2 .

After that Betsy and Geraldine’s group endured two weeks of what one newspaper described as ‘a rollicking Robinson Crusoe adventure’ on Emirau (‘Squally’) Island. It was not.

Then on Christmas Day an Australian naval initiative rescued them and took them safely to the Antipodes.