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Edinburgh Inter Faith Association

A Registered Charity in Scotland SCO 17622

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Unitarian progressive views in Edinburgh - Helen Livingstone

In the 1930’s women had their place: my mother loved her job, but when she married, that was it. She worked in the Bank of Scotland, and she had done all the bank exams- which was quite unusual for a woman [back then]. People think she was a secretary, she wasn’t! She was a proper teller in the bank. And as was the policy in so many places, when a woman got married, you left your job; you now had a new job! But during the war when all the men were away, she- we were evacuated to Stirling, so I was being well looked after - and she thought: “this is ridiculous, I’m at a loose end, I should be doing something to help.” She applied to the bank to go back- and they said “no, you’re a married woman!” [Unitarian churches have had a long history of gender equality]: women have been very much involved. And I think that was another reason why my mother felt very comfortable there. [It was empowering] to have a space where women were equal.