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Oxford University Celebrates Hundred Years Of Women’s Formal Admission To The Institution

Oxford University Women's addmission

This year, October 7 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s formal admission to the reputed Oxford University. The university’s administration has launched a year-long ‘Women Making History Centenary’ campaign to commemorate the centennial occasion. The campaign will include a range of university-wide events and initiatives. The aim is to help students and staff members engage with the historic milestone that transformed Oxford University from a male-only space to the co-ed institution it is today.

Oxford University denied admission to women from the 1870s to the 1920s. The university first granted full membership to women on 7 October 1920. A week later, it also awarded women the right to be awarded degrees. Today, the University awards a higher number of degrees to women than men. Additionally, it has admitted more undergraduate female students than male ones in the last two consecutive years.

Also Read: Women Outnumber Men In Oxford’s Newest Class

What You Should Know: 

  • October 7 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s formal admission to the Oxford University.
  • The University has launched a year-long ‘Women Making History Centenary’ campaign to commemorate the occasion.
  • The campaign will include a range of university-wide events and initiatives which aim to help students and staff members engage with the historic milestone. 

Oxford University’s ‘Women Making History Centenary’ Campaign

The university has planned various lectures, launch events, and activities as part of the ‘Women Making History Centenary’ campaign. The plans include an interactive timeline chronicling the University’s efforts to ensure gender-equality and a centenary women’s walking tour app to showcase how Oxford has changed in the last 100 years. Oxford University also plans to launch a new interactive resource and information hub, called ‘Education and Activism: Women at Oxford University, 1878–1920’, featuring valuable original documents from the former women’s colleges and the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford.

Dr. Elizabeth Baigent, Reader in the History of Geography at the University of Oxford and former Research Director of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, will deliver an online lecture focused on the contribution of women to Oxford’s School of Geography over the years on October 16. Keeping the present coronavirus-induced restrictions in mind, the university has planned a tentative public lecture at the iconic Sheldonian Theatre in May 2021. It has also appointed Professor Brenda E Stevenson as the first Hillary Rodham Clinton Chair of Women’s History at the University of Oxford as part of the centennial celebrations.

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Oxford University: Students And Professors Hail Centennial Celebrations

The University of Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, hailed the centennial celebrations and said, “In the midst of a uniquely challenging and difficult time it is wonderful to have cause to celebrate, and we certainly do. For the next year, we will celebrate the centenary of the belated admission of women to full membership of the University of Oxford with a series of joyous academic events.” Professor Senia Paseta, Professor of Modern History and Co-Director of the Oxford Martin School Programme in Women’s Equality and Inequality, recalled how women gained admission into Oxford University after a long-drawn and tough campaign. Furthermore, she said, “One hundred years later, we reflect on their legacy and must continue to insist on full equality between women and men in our university. Feminist activism remains vital, especially in these difficult times.”

Also Read: Pratishtha Deveshwar, First Wheelchair-user From India To Study At Oxford

Alex Foley, Oxford Student Union’s Vice President for Women, said, ‘The Women’s Centenary is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the advancements of women’s liberation at Oxford as well as to reflect on the considerable work that needs to be done going forward.” The university has compiled important resources to help people keep abreast of the latest events of the centenary.

Picture Credits: The Guardian

Tarini Gandhiok is an intern with SheThePeople.TV