Rathbone, Eleanor F. (Eleanor Florence)

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Rathbone, Eleanor F. (Eleanor Florence)

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May 12, 1872-January 2, 1946


Eleanor Rathbone was a leader figure in the British women's rights movement as well as being a member of parliament and a campaigner for the cause of family allowance. Born to social reformer William Rathbone V she worked for him after her graduation from Oxford investigating social and industrial conditions in Liverpool. In 1897 she joined the Liverpool Women's Suffrage Society and was Honorary Secretary and in 1913 co-founded the Liverpool Women's Citizen's Association. At the beginning of the Second World War she founded the charity now known as SSAFA which supports spouses and dependents of soldiers. When Millicent Fawcett retired in 1919 Eleanor took over as president of the National Union of Societies for Equal Citizenship. After the society disbanded upon women receiving equal franchise, she became a member of parliament and was an outspoken critic of the government's policy of appeasement in the Second World War. In 1945 the Family Allowances Act, a lifetime social cause for her, came into effect and Eleanor died the next year in London.


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JB March 2019.




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