In August 1914, Britain boasted the world’s most successfully organised women’s movement. It originally took shape in the 1850s and 1860s by means of a series of single-issue pressure groups that were more organisationally co-ordinated than they appeared as a result of the overlapping personnel and the publication of several women’s journals. But its reach had extended much further into British society via a number of more general organisations, most of which were not explicitly feminist but incorporated feminists and promoted feminism even if indirectly, including the Women’s Co-operative Guild, the Mothers’ Union, the Girls’ Friendly Society, the Women’s Local Government Society, the Primrose League and the Women’s Liberal Federation, not to mention a host of societies promoting women’s suffrage.
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