Tag: Women

Fear Was Not in My Dictionary: The Revolutionary Work of Sara Fortis

Reading time: 6 minutes
When the small Greek town of Kuturla burned in 1943, teenage Sara Fortis had been on the run from German occupying forces for two years already. From the raw age of fourteen, she had hidden her Jewish status and worked for underground resistance movements as a nurse and teacher. But when her sanctuary burned, when she was separated from her mother, Fortis was no longer willing to hide. She was no longer willing to limit her resistance to ‘women’s work.’

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Women, Parliament and Political Space

Reading time: 10 minutes
This blog post marks the anniversary of the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act, which passed on 21 November 1918, and enabled women over the age 21 to stand for Parliament. While an often overlooked act, this change in the law represents an important milestone for women’s rights. For the first time in history, women were able to directly influence Parliamentary debates and the passing of laws.

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Unsung Heroes: Women’s Role in the Agricultural Revolution

Unearthed secrets from 7,000 years back highlight prehistoric women as the heroines who dug deep–quite literally, to plant the seeds of the first Agricultural Revolution–a recent study in Science Advances has unearthed. Analysis of the bones of these women shows they took on their fair share of digging, hauling, hoeing, and grinding grain in early agricultural societies – in fact, so much so, that their upper body strength would have been greater than that of modern female athletes today. Notably, these findings disprove the widely-held notion that prehistoric women favored domestic tasks over intensive manual labor. 

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What contemporary feminism owes to Victorian textile workers in Glasgow

Reading time: 5 minutes
As well as being Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow was its industrial heart. Central to the civic story, is the River Clyde, famed as a global shipbuilding hub in the 20th century. But the Clyde, along with an abundant supply of coal, also made Glasgow the ideal location for the textile industry. In the 1820s, spinning mills, weaving mills, dye houses and garment factories sprang up, dominated the urban landscape.

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Ammonite: the remarkable real science of Mary Anning and her fossils

Reading time: 6 minutes
Palaeontologist Mary Anning is known for discovering a multitude of Jurassic fossils from Lyme Regis on England’s Dorset Coast from the age of ten in 1809.

Her discoveries included the first complete Icthyosaurus (although it was her little brother who first stumbled across the skull, Anning spent the next year excavating and preparing the rest of the fossil), the first complete Plesiosaurus and subsequent plesiosaur species, a perfectly preserved belemnite complete with anterior sheath and inkbag, and the first pterodactyl Dimorphodon.

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Hidden women of history: Maria Sibylla Merian, 17th-century entomologist and scientific adventurer

Reading time: 8 minutes
Most school kids can describe in detail the life cycle of butterflies: eggs hatch into caterpillars, caterpillars turn into cocoons and cocoons hatch. This seemingly basic bit of biology was once hotly debated. It was a pioneering naturalist, Maria Sibylla Merian, whose meticulous observations conclusively linked caterpillars to butterflies, laying the groundwork for the fields of entomology, animal behaviour and ecology.

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The Woman King is more than an action movie – it shines a light on the women warriors of Benin

Reading time: 6 minutes
The Woman King is a big-budget Hollywood movie that has been anticipated since 2018, when US star Viola Davis was announced as the lead in the story of the “amazons” of Dahomey. Rising South African star Thuso Mbedu also takes a key role in the film, which has premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and is heading to cinemas worldwide.

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Women in the Second World War: The sinking of SS Khedive Ismail

Reading time: 7 minutes
On the afternoon of 12 February 1944, travelling in a convoy from Mombasa to Ceylon (modern-day Sri Lanka), troopship SS Khedive Ismail was struck by two Japanese torpedoes just south-west of the Maldives. Hit directly in the vicinity of its engine and boiler rooms, the ship sank within just two minutes of the attack. Of the 1,506 passengers and crew on board, mostly military personnel, there were little more than 200 survivors.

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