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What can today’s changemakers learn from the “difficult women” of feminism?
In her new book Difficult Women, award-winning author and broadcaster Helen Lewis explores 11 "fights" which defined feminism, from the vote to the right to divorce.
But how did activists build a support base, marshal their arguments, and win over the public, the courts and parliament? Sometimes, they had to be outrageous: the peaceful suffragist Millicent Garrett Fawcett noted that her campaign was politely ignored, while the Suffragettes were widely condemned. Sometimes, they had to go to court: Marie Stopes's libel case got contraception covered by newspapers which had refused to take her adverts. Sometimes, they had to make compromises: Stopes tactically refused to support abortion, and Fawcett conceded that the vote should initially go to older, property-owning women.
Helen Lewis will be in conversation with Sam Smethers of the Fawcett Society, to explore the lessons that today's campaigners can learn from the history of feminism, one of the most successful social movements in history.