Temperate women. Educators, entrepreneurs and political agents. The White Ribbon 1900-1930.

Project: Dissertation

Layman's description

Although women were not formally considered political citizens and agents a hundred years ago, they were politically active and participated in traditionally male arenas, an aspect which has been ignored to a large extent in school history books. This thesis focuses on how women took part and acted in various public arenas during the first two decades of the 1900s.

The study deals with the Christian women’s temperance organisation, the White Ribbon, which was set up in 1900. The White Ribbon was part of the international World Woman's Christian Temperance Union which originated in the USA in the 1870s. The timeframe considered in the study is 1900-1930, when the organisation was one of Sweden’s largest women’s groups. The aim of the thesis is to reveal the White Ribbon as a political agent and the way in which this organisation took part in the process of democratisation of the country. White Ribbon members were active in both the right and left wing parties, they were opinion-makers and lobbyists. They were also entrepreneurs and employers, and they ran education and training courses for women. In this multifaceted work to create a temperate society, they supported a line based on democratic rights and the right to be treated as equal citizens. The organisation’s journal played a significant role for the temperate women of the time. It was the forum in which they could actually formulate their views and make their voices heard. The jorunal published women’s articles, poems and literary efforts. In it, their actions and participation in politics and society were made visible. Female role models were created in the journal, and a version of history was presented here which challenged the dominant gender structure by presenting women as active agents.
Effective start/end date2006/09/012011/12/31