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Durham University

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Mr. Newby Mccabe

Political activism between ‘dinner and tea’: Labour women and the problem of participation in the Department of History

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My research considers the role of women members in the Labour Party from when they were formally admitted in 1918 up to the landslide they helped it to achieve in 1945. 

The aim is to illustrate the reasons women chose to participate when the space available to them was so often limited. Limited both by the time they had available in between their domestic duties and, often more importantly, by the roles which the party would allow them to play. In considering this, this study will not only historicise the experience of Labour women but reflect the achievements they made within the narrow space they inhabited. 

Central to this study are the questions of political activism and allegiance, in a period where priorities apparently became less about the sex of a participant and more about their class. It will assess the validity behind such a claim, driven by the doubtless comprises women were required to make, and assess any compromises women gained from their party in return.

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