WOMEN’S FREEDOM LEAGUE

The Women’s Freedom League was a group founded in 1907. Its members included women who had been part of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) but disagreed with some of the violent tactics employed by them. Following its creation, the Women’s Freedom League established 60 branches and had around 4000 members in Britain. Some of its members were imprisoned in Holloway during the women’s suffrage movement of the early twentieth century. In addition to campaigning for votes for women, the League also regularly petitioned the Secretary of State and the Home Office over the conditions facing women in prison, notably in Holloway. They raised concerns over the health care provisions for women in prison but also campaigned for the appointment of women to more senior roles in women’s prisons, especially in Holloway. They also held several demonstrations outside of Holloway in the first half of the twentieth century. Although these demonstrations were often in protest to conditions in the prison, they spoke to wider issues surrounding women’s rights and again demonstrate the centrality of the site, physically and symbolically, to this important part of British history