Dreamers of a New Day, By Sheila Rowbotham
Feminist pioneers without a plinth
Sunday 14 August 2011
Sheila Rowbotham's revealing account of those who fought tooth- and-nail for women's rights in the early part of the 20th century also goes further back, to show the important debt we owe to fin-de-siècle rebels such as Beatrice Webb, the co-founder of the Fabian Society.
Race also emerges as a factor in the fight for equality in the US, which saw black women's groups emerge from "resistance" movements such as the Church-sponsored Temperance movements. These feminist pioneers may have few statues erected to them in city squares, but Rowbotham shows how crucial they are to the freedoms that women enjoy today.
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