Liverpool Federation of University Women banner

Select each image to see a larger version.
Photograph of procession courtesy of Lancashire Archives DOX 1137/5/24

The British Federation of University Women, today known as the British Federation of Women Graduates, was founded in 1907 to bring graduate women together across the country. 

The Liverpool Federation was formed in 1908 by Eleanor Rathbone and other women who were inspired at the first meeting of the British Federation in Manchester. 

Association members worked for other women in the city.

"They raised money for beds in the new Women's Hospital, campaigned for women to serve in the Police Force, and battled bravely against the introduction of the marriage bar for university women staff, which meant that if women married, they were automatically dismissed from their posts and were unable to continue with their careers.

During the 1930s, and in wartime, members welcomed European women who were refugees fleeing from the Nazis, giving them hospitality while they waited for a passage to the USA, and providing them with clothes and money for the journey."

Mrs Nan Mackean, former Honorary Secretary of the Association (University of Liverpool Library/ArchiveD799)

This amazing banner was made for the Association around the time of its formation. It was used at women’s suffrage demonstrations in the city, including a procession outside of Liverpool Central Library in 1910, pictured above. You can just about make the banner out towards the back of the procession, near the steps and lamp post. If you can't see it in this image, a larger version is currently in the display Taking liberties: women's suffrage in Liverpool at the Museum of Liverpool.

The banner, which isn't currently on display, is from the Museum of Liverpool's social and community history collection.