It’s International Women’s Day. Here at the RSA, there has always been a forward-thinking approach to this important and centuries-long discussion.
The RSA has always been a supporter of women, welcoming us into the society from the very beginning. This may seem standard practice now, but in 1754 it was quite a statement to make.
But, there’s more. The RSA established the Women’s Education Movement in 1871, forming a large committee ‘to promote the better education of girls in all classes’. This council, in November 1871 proposed and agreed upon ‘The National Union for the Improvement of Education of Women of all Classes’ outlining objectives such as ‘promoting the education of women, of whatever class’ and creating ‘a sounder public opinion on the subject of women’s education, and thus [removing] the great hindrance to its improvement’ This union lasted until 1884 and led to the establishment of the Girls’ Day Schools Trust in 1872 which still exists today.
Not too long after this in 1910, the RSA awarded its Albert Medal to Marie Curie (FRSA) for ‘the discovery of radium’.
An impressive history, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Over the last couple of months, the RSA has focussed on the gender debate with a number of staff writing their own blogs on the topic. See below a list of recently published gender blogs from RSA Staff and take a look:
· Gender, Values and Looking Beyond the Economics
· Dangers facing female refugees must be addressed
· Something doesn’t add up – girls, maths and A-level choices
· An open letter to all the entrepreneurs, founders and CEOs
· Gender quotas vs the filter bubble
· Gender - The Secret to Success
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Dr Catherine Packham gave an excellent talk on Women's Day at the RSA, discussing Mary Wollstonecraft, focusing on her life and her relevance today: equal education and opportunities for women and men, encouraging 'agency', reducing poverty of thought. A modern figure even though it is 260 years since her birth.