Women in Local Government Society published their final Suffrage Pioneers List for the From Suffrage to Citizenship Project on March 8th.
We received notification of the 100 women selected last night (March 7th). Very disappointed to see that only two Derbyshire women of all those we nominated made the list. We had an Idea that Hannah Mitchell was likely to be 'claimed' by Manchester, but to see that the only person we nominated to make the list being linked to London and Texas, but not Derbyshire (she was born in Chesterfield) is extremely disappointing. The WLGS have undertaken a trememdous amount of work in researching and collating the list and we have no doubt that their intentions are to celebrate and make women visible women’s vast contributions and achievements, but nevertheless we feel a bit let down. We have written to WLGS and to their credit they replied explaining that the listing criteria used was not place of birth but location of activism.....by that criteria we think smaller locations would always lose out to larger cities especially London as that is where the seat of power lies and the site of marches and larger incidences of actviism etc... London is mentioned more times than it should be on the list at the expense of other locations...The WLGS did also say that they would make place of birth apparent in the the online cameos, but dependence on volunteer researchers/Project workers means that any update might take some time. Thank you WLGS
The resultant list and the attribution reflects exactly the reasons why it is so necessary to create 'our own lists' (if you haven;t already done so, please check out our Derbyshire100+ Women's List) and focus attention on local women and their achievements alongside the women who have achieved recognition elsewhere, The most galling thing about the listing is that but for our research it is unlikely that Elisabeth Freeman would even have been on the list at all! So reagrdless of the list or recognition we wish to say... Hannah Mitchell we claim you! Alice Wheeldon who we also nominated but who made the Cameos but not the final list, we claim you; Agnes Elizabeth Slack, Elizabeth Petty and Emma Miller, who made neither list nor cameo and all the fanatastic women who have lived, worked in our County we claim you all. Elisabeth Freeman (number 42 on the alphabetically ordered list), who did make the list... we claim you! ....watch this space to see how much we claim you!
In the final analysis, I suppose we should be happy that our nominee made the list at all, and without taking the time we did - to undertake reserach about her, she simply would not be there at all....
In any case, Deeds Not Words Towards Liberation goes beynd just listing women in celebration of 2018, but indeed, goes far beyond it towards educating, celebrating and building a resource for the study of women's history and contribution in the long term.
Viist http://www.elizabethfreeman.org/ to find out more about Elisabeth Freeman,
Viist http://www.deedsnotwordstowardsliberation.com/copy-of-100-derbyshire-women to find out more about our Amazing Debry and Derbyshire Women