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International Women's Day 2013

Published 01 March 2013

Poster of Rosalind Franklin

Feminist Archive North are celebrating over 100 years of activisim by women in science and technology

To celebrate International Women's Day on 8 March 2013 the Feminist Archive North (FAN) is hosting an exhibition in Special Collections and aims to raise awareness of the activities, initiatives, campaigns and achievements of women in science and technology. FAN has a wealth of fascinating material illustrating this rich history of activism to promote women's study and work in all branches of science, engineering, technology, construction and mathematics.

Among the many forgotten or unacknowledged women high achievers in the field of science and technology are: Caroline Herschel, the 18th-century astronomer; Jane C Wright, physician and pioneer chemotherapist; and Rosalind Franklin, the unsung biophysicist colleague of Crick and Watson who discovered the double helix.

The exhibition will feature memorabilia, leaflets, pamphlets and posters used to publicise successful women engineers, scientists and apprentices as role models; campaign and publicity materials to encourage girls and women to study science and engineering; lively conference reports; and diverse sources such as the Socialist Feminist Scarlet Women collective, Ford, the Girl Guides and the Royal Navy. There will also be items documenting the rich variety of campaigns such as:

  • Women's Engineering Society (1919)
  • Electrical Association for Women (1924)
  • UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Construction (1991)
  • Engineering Industry Training Board (EITB)
  • Girl Technicians' Training Scheme
  • East Leeds Women's Workshop (ELWW)
  • Open University's Women in Technology scheme for women returners
    Women into Science and Engineering (WISE)

The exhibition will be open 11am - 4pm on Friday 8 March in the Brotherton Room, Special Collections.

There will be drop-in guided tours of the exhibition over the lunch break (12pm - 2pm) by FAN volunteers who were themselves active in these campaigns and initiatives.