Glasgow and West of Scotland Association for Women's Suffrage Collection
Material documenting the administrative history of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Association for Women's Suffrage.
About the Collection
In the early 20th century there were a number of suffrage societies in Britain. The Glasgow and West of Scotland Association for Women's Suffrage (GWSAWS) was founded in 1902 and a year later affiliated to the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies. Their members, who were called suffragists, campaigned peacefully unlike the suffragette organisations, such as the Women's Social and Political Union, which believed in a more militant approach. Most of their members came from the middle or upper classes. Some belonged to multiple organisations and shifted allegiances. Janie Allan, who was one of the founder members of GWSAWS and whose family owned the Allan shipping line, resigned from the Executive Committee and joined the more militant Women’s Social and Political Union, as she felt that the non-violent tactics of the GWSAWS were ineffective.
In 1909 the Scottish Federation of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies was set up following a proposal from the GWSAWS. It was this organisation that in October 1914 decided to aid the war effort by setting up a Scottish Women’s Hospitals – female medical units to serve in the front line. The GWSAWS, like many other bodies affiliated to the NUWSS, continued its work as a Society for Equal Citizenship after women over 30 got the right to vote. The Association amalgamated with the Glasgow Women Citizens' Association in 1923. When the Society was wound down in 1933, it was due to financial rather than political considerations and former members continued to meet at the Queen Margaret Union in the University until the 1960s.
The Mitchell Library's collection consists of minute books spanning the years 1902 to 1933 from various committees as well as printed reports. It was donated to the Mitchell Library in 1950 by Marion J. Buchanan.
"Glasgow and West of Scotland Association for Women's Suffrage" Wikipedia article.
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