In the earlier 20th century it was very difficult for women to get education. Dean Millicent C. McIntosh in Barnard College's 1951-1952 Blue Book (the volume of rules governing undergraduate women), wrote that “Never has there been such urgent need for trained women college graduates-to serve our communities, to enter our professions and to give wise direction and inspiration to home life.” During this period the middle and upper class white, American women were expected to get married, raise children and look after their families…
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As John Briggs says “education played a large role in the women’s rights movement of the 20th century because it was seen as a key to success in gaining social, economic and political equality.” The education mainly comprised of subjects such as mathematics and home economics as it was understood that these subjects will help them in running their houses and educating their children. Also, subjects like child birth, hygiene and first aid were preferred by many women. Poor women were educated by well to do women who had the finance to attend schools (Briggs, n.d). Christie Anne Farhaan (1994) argued that U.S needed an educated citizenry and this in turn required the nurturing of the young by more educated mothers and so women’s education was very important (pg 16). The seven sisters was one of the first all women college which encouraged women to study liberal arts and had high academic standards which could be compared to that of men’s colleges. Since education was limited to the white women, colleges for the black women also sprang after the civil war.
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