Women as Co-operators

Gillian Lonergan, Jan Myers

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    This short paper is prompted by a booklet produced by Pat Stuttard to celebrate the International Year of Co-operation in 2012, and some of the women who feature in the history of the co-operative movement — “the dreamers and adventurers” (Rowbotham, 2010: 3). This review cannot be a complete account of women’s voices, experiences, and actions and there are many names missing from the account below — women such as Jane Addams who set up Hull House, a settlement community in North America and who worked alongside John Dewey; Eleanor Rathbone, or Elizabeth Fry — Quaker and prison reform campaigner. Nor does it mention Sarah Reddish who, at the age of 11, became a silk weaver and was later active in the Manchester suffrage movement, or the women co-operators who worked to provide aid during the Spanish Civil War, so well depicted in some of the paintings by British artists in the recent touring exhibition ‘Conflict and Conscience: British artists and the Spanish civil war’ (Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, and Laing Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2015). It does, however, provide a springboard for further exploration and consideration of women then and now as activists, as peacemakers and as co-operators.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)32-37
    JournalJournal of Co-operative Studies
    Issue number3
    Early online date1 Jul 2016
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jul 2016


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