Feminists, politics and children's charity: the formation of the Save the Children Fund

Document type
Mahood, Linda
Date of publication
1 December 2002
Voluntary Action: the journal of the Institute for Volunteering Research. Vol. 5; Number 1
Social welfare
Material type

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The connection between the First World War, feminist politics and women's consciousness is currently of great interest to those working in the field of women’s history. The formation of the Save the Children Fund (SCF) in 1919 illustrates that focusing exclusively on women's participation in party political processes overlooks the fact that therewas also a renewed interest in voluntary action after the First World War. A sizeable number of women – including former suffragists – military doctors and nurses, social workers and politicians became active in the post-war peace movement and in relief work, and campaigned exclusively for voluntary children’s aid. By providing grants to relief projects sponsored by women, the SCF furthered newly enfranchised women’s careers in politics, relief agencies and peace work. For many feminists and humanitarians, it was impossible to distinguish between politics and voluntary action where women and children were concerned.

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