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Emigration, marriage and the First World War
Laura Kelly

6 Trends in the careers of Irish women doctors: emigration, marriage and the First World War I n this chapter, I will examine the themes of emigration and marriage and how these affected the careers of Irish women medical graduates. Following this, I will investigate whether the First World War resulted in a change of opportunities for Irish women in medicine. Historiographically, the war is seen as a turning point in history, in that it inaugurated significant life and career changes for women.1 Such views have been challenged by feminist historians, who have

in Irish women in medicine, c.1880s–1920s
Open Access (free)
Sex, family planning and British female doctors in transnational perspective, 1920–70

Women’s medicine explores the key role played by British female doctors in the production and circulation of contraceptive knowledge and the handling of sexual disorders between the 1920s and 1970s at the transnational level, taking France as a point of comparison. This study follows the path of a set of women doctors as they made their way through the predominantly male-dominated medical landscape in establishing birth control and family planning as legitimate fields of medicine. This journey encompasses their practical engagement with birth control and later family planning clinics in Britain, their participation in the development of the international movement of birth control and family planning and their influence on French doctors. Drawing on a wide range of archived and published medical materials, this study sheds light on the strategies British female doctors used, and the alliances they made, to put forward their medical agenda and position themselves as experts and leaders in birth control and family planning research and practice.

Origins, education and careers
Author:

This book is the first comprehensive history of Irish women in medicine in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It focuses on the debates surrounding women's admission to Irish medical schools, the geographical and social backgrounds of early women medical students, their educational experiences and subsequent careers. It is the first collective biography of the 760 women who studied medicine at Irish institutions in the period and, in contrast to previous histories, puts forward the idea that women medical students and doctors were treated fairly and often favourably by the Irish medical hierarchy. It highlights the distinctiveness of Irish medical education in contrast with that in Britain and is also unique in terms of the combination of rich sources it draws upon, such as official university records from Irish universities, medical journals, Irish newspapers, Irish student magazines, the memoirs of Irish women doctors, and oral history accounts.

This book reconsiders the history of women in medicine, higher education and the professions in Ireland. It will appeal not only to medical historians, social historians and women’s historians in Ireland, the UK and abroad but also to members of the general public.

Marie-Luce Desgrandchamps
,
Lasse Heerten
,
Arua Oko Omaka
,
Kevin O'Sullivan
, and
Bertrand Taithe

, female nurses, women doctors and other aid workers in the crisis – we talk a lot about missionaries as men and aid workers as men, but women played a sizeable role in the delivery of aid. Lasse: Just to echo that: I also only discovered glimpses into a more complex understanding of how gender worked in the field. Our narratives about humanitarian work are predominantly masculine narratives – echoing the way Biafra aid, for instance, was internationally

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Caroline Rusterholz

I am writing about an important uncertainty affecting many women doctors working in family planning. As you will no doubt be aware many of us have acquired over the years considerable expertise in this field and there seems to be a strong possibility in light of the government proposals that this work will largely be taken over by General Practitioners of very varied training in family planning and of course mostly male. It is also true that some hospitals are opening

in Women’s medicine
Open Access (free)
Caroline Rusterholz

In ‘One Woman's Mission’, an article in the Sunday Times Magazine in 1973, pioneer birth control activist and female gynaecologist Helena Wright recalled the pivotal moment in her career. In 1928, Wright intrepidly dedicated herself to making contraception both acceptable and accessible. Looking back on this decision, she explained: ‘It seemed to me in a prophetic way, that birth control was the single subject that women doctors had to get hold of.’  1 The implications of Wright's vision for

in Women’s medicine
A British–French comparison
Caroline Rusterholz

During the interwar years, women doctors medicalised birth control in Britain by developing a number of strategies to position themselves as experts in contraception and sexual disorders. 1 Among these strategies were publication of medical articles on birth control and participation in medical conferences. Yet these forms of dissemination of medical knowledge were not restricted to the national sphere; British women doctors also took part in international conferences on birth control. In fact

in Women’s medicine
Expanding the work of the clinics
Caroline Rusterholz

Oh this isn't so boring if you get your climax. Joan Malleson, 1950s 1 During the interwar period and onwards, family planning centres expanded their birth control sessions into sexual advice, which became available primarily through the activities of women doctors in Britain. They set up advisory sessions on ‘sub-fertility’, which

in Women’s medicine
Caroline Rusterholz

[W]omen clients came to us because we were all women. Women doctors, women nurses, women running clinics. 1 Helena Wright From the opening of birth control clinics in the early 1920s to the Family Planning Act in 1967, women have been central actors in the campaign for birth control and contraception in Britain

in Women’s medicine
Laura Kelly

and prompt action, would trust her self in the hands of a woman’.19 The idea that women doctors did not possess the ‘calm nerve’ required in times of crisis was a common argument put forward by those against women in medicine at the time. It was bound up in Victorian ideology that men were more rational-thinking and sensible than women, who were traditionally viewed as being flighty, hysterical and irrational.20 Women’s very physical natures were also attacked, with Mater arguing that, physically, women were not fit to be doctors because Kelly.indb 23 7/12/2012 11

in Irish women in medicine, c.1880s–1920s