Article

The Education of Women for Citizenship: the National Federation of Women's Institutes and the British Federation of Business and Professional Women 1930-1959

Citation

Perriton L (2009) The Education of Women for Citizenship: the National Federation of Women's Institutes and the British Federation of Business and Professional Women 1930-1959. Gender and Education, 21 (1), pp. 81-95. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540250802213156

Abstract
This article focuses on how citizenship education was built into the organisational practices as well as the formal instructional programmes of women’s organisations in Britain in the pre‐ and post‐Second World War period. It compares the efforts of two such organisations, the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) and the British Federation of Business and Professional Women (BFBPW), to train women in the skills of citizenship. Despite their differences in constituency and structure, these two organisations had remarkably similar views on citizenship education and shared similar educational approaches until the end of the 1950s. This article argues that the NFWI and BFBPW’s understanding of political engagement and their efforts to educate the woman citizen are important historical examples of how women have negotiated issues of involved versus informed citizenry. The educational model they used is relevant today given the renewed interest in the strengthening of civic society as a key mechanism for political engagement.

Keywords
women’s organisations; citizenship education; historical perspectives

Journal
Gender and Education: Volume 21, Issue 1

StatusPublished
Publication date31/12/2009
Publication date online03/12/2008
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISSN0954-0253