National Women's Network

NWN logoADMINISTRATIVE/BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY: The National Women’s Network (NWN) was established in 1981 by Irene Harris in London. A successful business women, Harris was excluded from existing senior management clubs because of her gender. This resulted in Harris being expected to enter through the tradesmen’s entrance when arriving for meetings. The tipping point for Harris was when she and Odette Hallowes were refused a drink at the bar of the In and Out Club. Hallowes was a highly regarded French resistance fighter who had been tortured by the Gestapo and imprisioned in the Ravensbruck concentration camp. In 1946 she had been awarded the Geroge Cross, however in post-war Britian her gender disqualified her from drinking without a male escort. Following the snub, Harris approached influential women in a variety of professions to established the NWN. 

The NWN is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers with a federation of branches throughout the UK. Chairpersons are elected for one financial year, and then must stand for re-election. The Network aims to maintain a forum in which women can develop business, professional and social contacts. It also strives to ensure that women’s contribution and influence is recognised as a vital force in all the corridors of power, be they in the professions, commerce, industry or the arts. Membership is open to women only, and requires a commitment to provide up to five minutes of free advice in their area of expertise to any other member of the Network when required.  

SCOPE AND CONTENT: Papers from National Women's Network (NWN), including: administration, membership and conference papers from NWN and other human and women right's organisations; conference papers; correspondence; ephemera from NWN and other human and women's rights organisations and campaigns; and miscellaneous papers, (1988-1998)

QUANTITY: 11 boxes, 1 oversized item