I am mid-way through reading Bluestockings by Jane Robinson (reviewed in the Telegraph here and available on Amazon here), which has been lent to me by my mum. It’s been an enjoyable and enlightening read so far. Although I had a vague idea of the lack of opportunities available to women in the not-so-distant past, I was shocked to find out how late British women were allowed the same educational opportunities as men. They were not granted degrees at Cambridge until 1948, and not even admitted as students at many universities until the late 1800s or even the early 1900s. This got me thinking about two things: how privileged I have been in my education, and how women in many countries around the world today do not have the same privileges that I have had. I studied at Oxford as an undergraduate and a postgraduate. My grandparents never had that opportunity, being from working class homes. My great-grandmothers probably would not have even been allowed to go to university. If I lived in the developing world, I may not have the opportunity to go to school at all, let alone university.
I am grateful to all the women who worked so hard so that those who came after them, including me, could enjoy privileges that they did not have. Much has been achieved, but there remains a long way to go before all women around the world have the same opportunities available to them.