Readers Blog: It seems like the tide is turning for Mná na hÉireann

Your readers might be interested in some facts about women:

Marie Curie and Pierre Curie. In 1995 Marie Curie became the first woman to be entombed, on her own merit, in the Panthéon in Paris.

  • In 1602 the Confucian scholar Li Zhi was imprisoned in China for spreading the “dangerous idea” that women were the intellectual equals of men and should be given equal opportunity in education.
  • In 1681 a London woman was publicly flogged for the crime of “involving herself in politics”.
  • In 1750 Hannah Snell, a British woman who had disguised herself as a man to become a soldier, revealed her sex to her Royal Marines compatriots.
  • In 1759 a translation and commentary on Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica by the mathematician Emilie du Châtelet was published posthumously. Voltaire, one of her lovers, declared in a letter to his friend, King Frederick II of Prussia, that du Châtelet was “a great man whose only fault was being a woman”.
  • In 1889 the Eiffel Tower was completed. Seventy-two names of French scientists, engineers and notables were engraved on the structure but no women were included in the list.

  • In 1902 Irish-born Mary Harris, later known as Mother Jones, was considered to be the “most dangerous woman in America” due to her militancy with the labour unions.
  • In 1905 Grover Cleveland, the US President, said: “Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote.”
  • In 1916 Margaret Sanger was arrested for opening the first birth control clinic in the US.
  • In 1971, in Switzerland, women were given the right to vote in federal elections and stand for parliament for the first time.
  • In 1977 Wangari Maathai established the Green Belt Movement in Kenya, later becoming the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize (2004).
  • In 1995 Marie Curie became the first woman to be entombed, on her own merit, in the Panthéon in Paris.
  • In 2018 the male leaders of the two largest political parties in Ireland in Ireland declare their trust in women: pro-treaty and anti-treaty united for once, if momentarily.

Mná na hÉireann, I can feel it. The tide is turning.

Alison Hackett

Dun Laoghaire

Co Dublin

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