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A view from the archives
Jeremy McIlwaine

12 Conserving Conservative women: a view from the archives Jeremy McIlwaine This volume emerges from a joint effort between academics and the Conservative Party Archive at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and the shared initiative to better define, analytically and empirically, the history of women and gender issues in the party from the period of the its modernisation in the later nineteenth century to the present.1 The purpose of this chapter is to set out some of the ­challenges – ­and ­successes – ­facing the preservation of the archival legacy relating to

in Rethinking right-wing women
Defending Cold War Canada
Katie Pickles

of the Cold War. 2 To the contrary, historians such as Elaine Tyler May refute divisions between political and family values, and instead reveal connections between gender, family and national politics. During the Cold War the IODE, as a group of conservative women, operated between and across constructed public and private spheres. Caught up in an era in which ‘family values’ predominated, the IODE

in Female imperialism and national identity
Julie V. Gottlieb

5 Modes and models of Conservative women’s leadership in the 1930s Julie V. Gottlieb In the aftermath of suffrage, women came into their own in the Conservative Party as party workers, as communal and national leaders, as MPs, and as part of a notional women’s bloc of voters that Conservatives believed they could rely upon at election time. The valuable work performed by Conservative women at grass roots has been acknowledged in the scholarship, as have the strategies developed by the party to mobilise women as both party workers and voters. However, much less

in Rethinking right-wing women
Matthew C. Hendley

4 Conservative women and the Primrose League’s struggle for survival, 1914–32 Matthew C. Hendley The Primrose League is usually viewed as a crucial political vehicle for Conservative women during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Though open to both sexes, the League’s true value to the Conservative Party lay in its effective utilisation of female members (who constituted nearly half of its membership) for both canvassing during elections and social functions between elections. Owing to the fact that women lacked the national franchise before 1918, the League

in Rethinking right-wing women
Gender and the Conservative Party, 1880s to the present

Historians and political scientists have deemed the twentieth century 'the Conservative Century', owing to the electoral and cultural dominance of the Conservative Party in Britain. This book traces the relationship among women, gender and the Conservative Party from the 1880s to the present, and thereby seeks to fill that gap. A gender inclusive approach allows for a more nuanced understanding of political machinations, power and the unprecedented popularity of both conservatism and unionism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The suffragette Christabel Pankhurst, was regarded as a charismatic, radical figure, who was the co-leader of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), a notorious suffrage organization campaigning for the parliamentary vote for women in Edwardian Britain. In 1928 Lady Iveagh, Vice-Chairman of the National Union of Conservative Associations (NUCA), claimed that one million women were members of the Conservative Party. The book focuses on how the Primrose League re-made itself for its female members between 1914 and 1932. It shows that the Conservative Party leadership and male candidates were keen to present themselves as the champions of home interests, playing up their family-man credentials against their rowdy electoral culture of Labour. The book also examines inquires how the deliberate choice of middlebrow rhetoric as well as the language of citizenship enabled Conservative women to construct a cross-class language of democracy. It explores British conservatism, highlighting the history of the Tory Party as part of the study of women and their sectional interest in 'the politics of gender'.

Baroness Anne Jenkin
Sarah Childs

13 Women2Win and the feminisation of the UK Conservative Party Baroness Anne Jenkin Introduction by Sarah Childs Summer 2005. BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour is discussing the under-­representation of women in British politics. The general election had seen the re-­election of a Labour Government under Tony Blair. Using a party quota once ­again – ­All Women ­Shortlists – ­the Labour parliamentary benches were 28 per cent female, with 98 Labour women MPs. Opposite them, the Conservative benches remained overwhelmingly male: there were only 17 Conservative women MPs

in Rethinking right-wing women
The women’s Conservative organisation in the age of partial suffrage, 1914–28
David Thackeray

3 At the heart of the party? The women’s Conservative organisation in the age of partial suffrage, 1914–28 David Thackeray In 1928 Lady Iveagh, Vice-­Chairman of the National Union of Conservative Associations (NUCA), claimed that one million women were members of the Conservative Party. While it would be prudent to question how many of these were active members, it was undoubtedly true that the Conservatives had been more successful than their rivals in attracting women members. At this time, the Conservative Women’s Organisation was around four times the size

in Rethinking right-wing women
Women’s voluntarism, Conservative politics and representations of womanhood
Clarisse Berthezène

middlebrow and ‘ordinary’ conservatism, and helped to produce a distinct understanding of ‘common sense’. This chapter examines how the deliberate choice of middlebrow rhetoric as well as the language of citizenship enabled Conservative women to construct a cross-­class language of democracy. This language was particularly instrumental in mobilising and indeed, in their own terms, ‘infiltrating’ the voluntary sector and gaining large constituencies of support. A language of caution: defending ‘women’s interests’ but not ‘feminism’ Incrementally, since the end of the

in Rethinking right-wing women
Tokens or role models?
Elizabeth Evans

both Labour and Conservative women MPs, women Liberal Democrat MPs have been subjected to trivialisation and objectification by the media. Secondly, this chapter explores instances of representation where the descriptive and symbolic meet and questions whether the low number of women MPs impacts upon identification of role models. The representation of women in the national media Previous analysis of the representation of women politicians by the media has highlighted a number of interrelated themes: the dominant masculine bias of the media, leading to inherent

in Gender and the Liberal Democrats
Post-war planning and the post-war years
Caitríona Beaumont

Having participated actively in the war effort, voluntary women’s organisations were united in their determination to ensure that the views and interests of housewives and mothers were incorporated into plans for post-war reconstruction. This aim resulted in women’s organisations making a significant contribution to government committees and investigations on post-war planning. This chapter focusses in particular on the involvement of voluntary women’s organisations in the housing debate and in discussions regarding the role and status of women workers. What emerges is a new understanding of the ability of conservative women’s groups to influence government policy at this important moment in British history.

in Housewives and citizens