Feminism revitalised

The government has decided that Feminism will be included on the A-Level Politics syllabus after protests

Nicky Morgan MP, Education Minister. Image: Policy Exchange

Nicky Morgan MP, Education Minister. Image: Policy Exchange

Following a lengthy campaign, the government has announced that Feminism will remain in the A level politics syllabus.

On 19 November last year, the Department for Education released a draft which would have eliminated Feminism from the AS and A Level syllabus. The changes, which would come into effect in September 2017, discarded the ideology and key feminist ideas of sex/gender, patriarchy and gender equality. Particular outrage was directed at the fact that Mary Wollstonecraft would have been the only woman in the new syllabus’ “key political thinkers”. The suffragette movement was to be assigned to the “pressure group” part of the curriculum.

Mary Wollstonecraft, historic advocate of women's rights, would have been the only woman on the list of selected thinkers. Image credit: Skara Kommun

Mary Wollstonecraft, historic advocate of women’s rights, would have been the only woman on the list of selected thinkers. Image credit: Skara Kommun

The draft, which the department were consulting and proposed, sparked uproar and annoyance, culminating in protests from campaigners and students nationwide, begging the public to stand with them in the open consultation of the syllabus running to 15 December.

Fawcett Society member and politics teacher Eleanor Rehahn described the move from the Department of Education as demonstrating “the uneasy relationship our political system has with women generally; they are not seen as integral”.

She argued that ‘to remove feminism as a core political ideology for study is to deny its contribution to modern politics, but also acknowledges its challenge to the male-dominated status quo’. Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has been heavily criticised for the proposition, particularly given her position as Minister for Women and Equalities.

2 comments

  1. Why do this? So that a feminist ideology can be forced upon teenagers? Seems ridiculous to me

    Reply Report

    • Having studied feminism at A-Level, it in no way ‘forces’ a feminist ideology upon teenagers. It educates students on the different strands of feminism and why it exists. However, feminism is not an extreme or minority stance: it promotes equality between men and women, and as most people don’t seem to understand this, it is something which needs to be taught. Equally, couldn’t you argue that teaching any ‘ideology’, i.e. nationalism, multiculturalism etc, is ‘forcing’ it on teenagers, so what makes feminism so different?

      Reply Report

Leave a comment