Education for active citizenship: women’s organisations in interwar Scotland


Wright V (2009) Education for active citizenship: women’s organisations in interwar Scotland. History of Education, 38 (3: Education and Citizenship in Modern Scotland), pp. 419-436.

Following the enfranchisement of women in 1918 women’s organisations throughout Britain reconsidered and revised their aims for the future. In many cases this involved educating their members, and women in general, on how to use their new influence in society. Such ‘education for citizenship’, which also drove attempts to raise the political consciousness of women, was a defining feature of the educational programmes of a range of women’s organisations in interwar Scotland. This paper focuses on the activities of two societies: the Glasgow Society for Equal Citizenship and Edinburgh Women Citizens Association. These organisations strongly promoted ‘active citizenship’ as the next step for the feminist movement. Consequently, both worked intensively to ensure that the women of Glasgow and Edinburgh, respectively, knew how to use their votes in order to best achieve further reforms. This article examines the educational strategies used by both organisations.

feminism; interwar; Scotland; womens' organisations; suffrage; education; citizenship;

FundersEconomic and Social Research Council
Publication date31/05/2009
Publication date online13/05/2009
Date accepted by journal15/01/2009
PublisherInforma UK Limited