Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Woman of the Week | Josephine Butler | 54 St James Street

Woman of the Week is back! Each week we will be posting a blog about one of our great historic women;

Each room at 54 St James Street has been carefully named after an inspiring woman who made her mark in history. The Women's Organisation want to introduce you to some of these amazing women so you can see why they have been recognised at the Women's International Centre for Economic Development (WICED)

This week, we wanted to write about Josephine Butler

Josephine Butler (April 13th 1828 – December 30th 1906)


Josephine Butler was a 19th century British social reformer, who played a major role in improving conditions for women in education and public health.


Josephine married George Butler in 1852. He was an academic with similar political views to her own. Together they had four children, but in 1863, their six year old daughter died. In an attempt to cope with her grief, Butler threw herself into charity work, particularly related to the rights of women. Among the issues on which she campaigned was child prostitution. She was part of a group which forced parliament to raise the age of consent from 13 to 16.

In 1869, Butler began her campaign against the Contagious Diseases Acts. These had been introduced in the 1860s in an attempt to reduce venereal diseases in the armed forces. Police were permitted to arrest women living in seaports and military towns who they believed were prostitutes and force them to be examined for venereal diseases. Butler toured the country making speeches condemning these acts. Many people were shocked that a woman would speak in public about sexual matters.

Butler also took a great interest in women’s education. She pressured the authorities at Cambridge University into providing further education courses for women, which eventually led to the foundation of the all-women college in Newnham. She was appointed president to the North of England Council for the Higher Education of Women in 1867. 

54 St James Street is a development of The Women’s Organisation which works for women’s economic progress. The Women’s Organisation has been a non-profit distributing company since 1996 (formerly known as Train 2000). By using the fabulous facilities available at 54 St James Street not only will you be assured of a successful event but you will contribute to the valuable work delivered through The Women’s Organisation.

The Butler Room is one of our smaller meeting rooms. These are stylishly and comfortably designed to facilitate meetings of between 2 and 6 people. These rooms also benefit from natural light, heating and cooling system which can be controlled from inside the room.  Free WiFi connectivity is available.

To find out more about our San Suu Kyi Room and all of our other suites and rooms, contact us on venue@thewo.org.uk or visit our website here



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