Ladies Can’t Climb Ladders
It is a myth that either of the World Wars liberated women.
The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act of 1919 was one of the most significant pieces of legislation in modern Britain. It marked at once political watershed and a social revolution; the point at which women of 21 and over were recognised in law as being as competent as men. But were they? What actually happened when this bill was passed? This is the story of what happened next.
Ladies Can’t Climb Ladders focuses on the lives of six women – six pioneers – forging paths in the fields of medicine, law, academia, architecture, engineering and the church. Robinson’s startling study into the public and private lives of these women sheds light not on the desires and ambitions of her subjects but how family and society responded to the working woman and what their legacy looks like today.
This book is written in their honour. It is a book about live subjects- equal opportunity, the gender pay gap, and whether women can expect, or indeed deserve, to have it at all.
Robinson writes with an often witty touch, which only serves to throw into furious relief the seriousness of the resistance women faced . . . An excellent companion to Robinson's Bluestockings. * The Financial Times * A well researched and entertaining read...a wonderful celebration of female pioneers * The Sunday Times * Jane Robinson's book is a lesson in how unthinkingly we wear freedom. Well known as a writer and social historian excavating ordinary women's lives, Robinson focuses this time on the emergence of lawyers, doctors, engineers, teachers, architects, scientists and churchwomen after the passing of the landmark law of 1919. Modern professional women will read it with a slow burn of anger and heightened respect for those whose actions, such a relatively brief time ago, made today possible . . . We ride on the shoulders of female giants - courageous, eccentric, clever pioneers. Robinson is a wryly amusing companion and this is an entertaining book, teeming with characters. * The Times * Arrestingly written...a stirring testament to unsung heroines * The Observer * An important and crackingly good read * The Telegraph *
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