In 2009, I graduated with a BA in History from the University of Manchester. I completed a Masters at the Centre for Women's Studies in 2011. My MA dissertation was based on a small oral history project which collected interviews with women who participated in the Women’s Liberation Movement (WLM) in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Using these oral testimonies, I explored the history of the WLM in Bradford and considered how involvement within this movement had an enduring impact on women’s lives.
In October 2011, I started AHRC funded PhD research which will focus on women’s participation in the culture of charity work. The aim of my research is to examine the reasons why women become involved in charitable work, and assess the extent to which the culture of charity in Britain is gendered. My undergraduate thesis focussed on women and philanthropy in nineteenth century England. I asked why many women felt compelled to be involved in philanthropic activity and whether or not this involvement improved their social and political position. The position of women in the nineteenth century was very different from our position in 2011 and both the public and charitable sector have expanded beyond measure. However, it seems that women are more integrated into the cultures of charity in Britain than men. My research will examine why women working within this sector have ‘chosen’ this type of employment, what they are motivated by and how the culture of charity work may be changing. It will consider the extent to which charity is perceived as ‘women’s work’.