A woman's place is at Robinson
The Centenary of the Representation of the People Act of 1918
Robinson was the first College in Cambridge to be founded for both men and women, on equal terms. As we celebrate the centenary of women getting the vote, two of our Founding Fellows reflect on that legacy.
Professor Morna Hooker: "When Robinson officially began life as an Approved Foundation in 1977, it was 'new' in all sorts of ways, and one of them was in being the first Cambridge undergraduate college to have been founded 'mixed'. Older colleges had only recently discovered that it was possible to mix men and women as full members of the same body, but for us it was natural, and it never occurred to us that it might be a problem. How fortunate we were! The College can be proud that almost 60 years after the 1918 Act - and almost 30 after women were first allowed to graduate, in 1948 - it was the first to write 'equality' into its constitution from the very beginning."
Dr Mary Stewart: "My own mother grew up in a world where women were still not allowed to vote, so to celebrate the acquiring of that right matters a lot to me, and I am particularly proud to be part of the first undergraduate college in Cambridge to be founded on the assumption that gender equality is the norm. Times do change, thankfully!"
Therefore Robinson remembers and celebrates with the rest of the academic community the passing of The Representation of the People Act of 1918 which granted the vote to women who were householders over the age of 30. The same Act gave the vote to all men over the age of 21. Women over 21 did not get the vote until 1928.