Day School: The Power of the Petticoat: The history of women in politics 1700 -1

Ref: C2418964

A three-part course describing the political activities of eighteenth-century women, the fight for the vote and the first women in Parliament.

Additional information about this course

This course will explore and show that even before they had the vote, women often had important roles in politics. However it was a long struggle for them to achieve the right to vote and stand for Parliament, and even with the first woman cabinet minister, there was no true equality.

Course aim

To show women's political activities from the eighteenth to the early-twentieth centuries

Who is the course for?

What topics will this course cover

The first hour will look at the political roles of elite women in the eighteenth century, showing their importance in an age of aristocratic politics. The second part will assess the role of the campaigns for women's suffrage. Finally the course will look at the consequences of the enfranchisement of women after 1919.

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

1. Understand that even in the eighteenth century politics was not a male-only affair. 2. Recognise the roles of the movements for and against women's suffrage in the nineteenth century. 3. Assess the achievements of women politicians in the early twentieth century and the limitations still placed on women's roles.

How will I know I'm making progress?

Through discussion and question-and-answer.

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

Students do not need to bring anything to the course, though they may find it helpful to take notes.

Reading and information sources

No. Books will be recommended on the day.

What could the course lead to?

More reading in women's history and the history of politics.

Download full course outline

Day School: The Power of the Petticoat: The history of women in politics 1700 -1 Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2016
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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