Object of the Month: March 2020

1 March 2020

We’re celebrating International Women’s Day on Sunday 8th March. This year’s campaign theme is Each for Equal, which aims to promote gender equality by challenging stereotypes, fighting bias, broadening perceptions, and celebrating women's achievements.

In recognition of #EachforEqual, our Object of the Month is a purse from the Hampstead branch of the National Council of Women of Great Britain. The NCW was founded in 1895 as the National Union of Women Workers, in response to the unsatisfactory working conditions endured by many women at this time. In the early 1900s, the organisation began its campaign for ‘Equal pay for Equal work’ and throughout the 20th century continued its work to remove discrimination against women in all areas and to encourage women to play a full role in society. This work continues today, and the NCW provides a forum for debate and an opportunity for women to voice their concerns.

This purse was given to Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, on the Diamond Jubilee of the NCW in 1955. It contained £50, given by the Hampstead branch. The front of the purse bears the heraldic arms of Hampstead and the Latin inscription Non Sibi Sed Toti meaning Not for self but for all.