Elizabeth Garret Anderson and Her Influence on Women´s Rights

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Women’s rights in Europe throughout the nineteenth-century were an intense subject that took views in political, social, and private forms. One of the pioneering women of this time, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, spent most of her life employing some of the most important duties that women had so longed for throughout this time. She furthered her education, had a profound career in medicine, and raised a family—all while being an active supporter of the women’s suffrage movement. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson helped shape the image that women could hold prominent careers, be active members among society, and keep a household running.
Elizabeth Garrett was born in 1836 to Mr. Newson Garret and Mrs. Louisa Dunnell from Leiston, Suffolk. At the time of Garrett’s birth women were fighting for the freedom and rights of their sex. The view of young girls at this time was a heavy debate that left them with much scrutiny and exile to the outside world. Women were seen as prisoners of the home, where they were to obey that of their fathers and eventually their husbands. The education of women was a heavy debate, where many thought that women were to learn only the academics that would help them to become worthy mothers and wives. While young boys were likely to attend public schools and in some cases continue on to universities, girls were left to stay at home to learn to be a good house maid. Aside from women’s lack of and allowance of education, women were also fighting for legal rights as well as fair pay.
The Garrett family was a large one, comprising of ten children, six girls and four boys. While the family was expanding they moved to Aldeburgh, where Mr. Garrett became a prominent businessman, somewhat setting the stage for the succe...

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...luenced a petition against her. Eventually, Elizabeth Garret was asked to leave the hospital. Although this was a setback in her career, she left with a certificate in Chemistry and materia medica. After leaving the hospital, Elizabeth Garret applied to several medical schools. Without surprise, she was denied admittance to all of them. This however did not hold her back from her studies. She was able to receive another certificate in anatomy and physiology. In 1862, she was finally able to undergo private study through the Society of Apothecaries where she spent three years furthering her education.
As the first women to obtain and medical license in Britain, Elizabeth Garret became a pioneer in the field of medicine. In 1866, her name appeared in the Medical Register—a large milestone after her long and devastating pursuit to become a recognized doctor.
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