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Who, in your opinion, made the most significant contribution to improving the lives of British women

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Introduction

Who, in your opinion, made the most significant contribution to improving the lives of British women? There are many different ways in which someone can improve the lives of others, and, although many people improved the lives of British women, Josephine Butler made an invaluable and large contribution to many women's lives from 1868 - 1886. The health of women improved due to the efforts of some women, mainly Annie Besant, Josephine Butler and Edith Cavell, which helped to improve the general lives of British women. Besant wrote articles on birth control, bringing home to women that they did not have to have babies if they did not want to, which improved the health of many women, especially the unmarried women of the middle classes, who did not want babies. She also helped improve the health of working class women by publishing an article outlining the dangers of phosphorus fumes that women workers encountered in the Bryant and May match factory. The article also complained about the low wages paid to women in this factory, which involved in concessions being made to the women who worked there. She also helped children to improve their lives, securing free meals for the undernourished, and free medical examinations for children in primary schools. ...read more.

Middle

She discovered that any property, houses or possessions, owned before marriage would immediately become the property of her husband as soon as she was married, and Barbara did her best to repeal these laws, working for the freedom of women, especially those who are married. All the Pankhursts worked tirelessly in the quest for gaining women the freedom to vote. They gave their whole lives over to the cause, and often sacrificed their health and well being for women. Annie Kenney also worked selflessly for the cause, helping the Pankhursts, often taking over leadership of the Suffragette Movement. Many other women helped to fight for the vote, including Cicely Hamilton, Emmeline Pethick, Emily Davidson, Millicent Fawcett, Elizabeth Garrett - Anderson, and Emily Davies. Josephine Butler also wanted freedom for women, in working conditions, and prostitution. She did not agree with, and fought for the reduction of the number of women forced into prostitution. Women started to get stability in their lives as the system and laws surrounding them and their rights changed, so that they could be secure in their lives. Josephine Butler helped to increase this stability by decreasing the number of young women in prostitution, as she helped increase the age of consent to sixteen, so many more girls and also mothers were safe in the knowledge that children under sixteen would be safe from sex and prostitution. ...read more.

Conclusion

Josephine Butler also argued for improved educational and employment opportunities for single women. The legal attitudes towards women improved greatly due to the work of certain individuals, improving the lives of women, especially in legal battles. Caroline Norton improved the legal attitudes towards women by starting to get them noticed. She helped women gain legal identity in a court of law, as well as gain them some rights. Josephine Butler also helped to improve attitudes towards women by protecting and helping many women, including prostitutes. The Pankhursts, Annie Kenney, Cicely Hamilton and Emily Davies all helped to gain the vote, and therefore made the country sit up and take notice of women. They did decrease the good legal attitudes towards women for a while, as the Suffragette movement was not approved of, but when women got the vote in 1918, then fully in 1928, the legal attitudes to women improved, as women were then part of the electoral role, and deserved respect. Therefore, there were many people who helped improve the lives of British women. Josephine Butler stands out from them all in the outstanding work she did in health, freedom, stability, education and legal attitudes towards women. She helped many people in the work that she did, even if she was not involved in the Women's Suffrage movement. Robyn Berry 12BDU Mr Warner ...read more.

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