International Women’s Day

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836-1917)

When Garrett Anderson was born, there were no female doctors in Britain. Inspired by American physician Elizabeth Blackwell, she trained as a nurse and applied for her MD, but was turned down by every university she approached. 

So she moved to France and qualified at the University of Paris instead. She set up in practice as a GP in London as the UK’s first female doctor, and in 1876 helped usher through parliament an act that formally permitted women to be medics. Emmeline Pankhurst often argued that if women could be trusted with lives, surely they could be trusted with the vote.

Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

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