chapter  22
12 Pages

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES AND WOMEN’S RIGHTS IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY BRITAIN

Before 1914 women, who constituted slightly over half the total adult population of Britain, had been conceded only a handful of rights. By the Married Women’s Property Act of 1882 they had been given ownership of their own possessions within the context of marriage; they had also been allowed since 1876 to register as doctors, and since the 1890s to vote in local government elections. Women did not, however, have the vote in parliamentary elections, they could not enter the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge or practise law, and they had virtually no protection or rights in employment.