Leading the Way
About the passage
A. Read to understand
Answer the following questions.
1. How did Elizabeth Blackwell’s fellow students at the Geneva Medical College treat her?
Ans. Elizabeth Blackwell’s fellow students at the Geneva Medical College treated her terribly. They made things difficult for her. They criticized her, refused to talk to her, and kept her from taking part in the classroom medical demonstrations.
2. What further challenges lay in front of Elizabeth after becoming a doctor? How did she counter this?
Ans. Despite her training, Elizabeth could not get a job in any of the city hospitals. So, she opened her own hospital-the New York Infirmary for Women and Children-in a district where many poor people lived.
3. How did Elizabeth help during the American Civil War?
Ans. During the American Civil War, her hospital became a relief centre for wounded soldiers. She also helped select and train nurses for the war.
4. What were Emmeline Pankhurst’s observations about women during her times?
Ans. During her times, Emmeline Pankhurst had observed the inferior position of women and their legal and social oppression by men.
5. Write a short note about WSPU, its objective, and its methods.
Ans. The Womens Social and Political Union (WSPU) was formed in October 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst. The aim of the WSPU was to gain votes for women, “on the same basis as men. They campaigned against the ruling party’s candidates at elections, interrupted meetings of cabinet ministers, and launched hunger strikes hoping to force the hand of the ruling government on the matter.
6. Why was the year 1918 of significance to the WSPU in particular?
Ans. In 1918, the British government passed a law that gave women over the age of thirty the right to vote.
7. What prompted Amelia Earhart to become an aviater?
Ans. Aeroplane stunt shows were quite popular during the 1920s. Amelia, too, enjoyed such aerial displays. One day, after taking a ten-minute plane ride, she decided that she had to learn to fly.
8. Why were the years 1928 and 1932 of significance to Amelia?
Ans. In 1928, she was invited to join the pilots Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon while they flew from America to England, thus making her the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.
In 1932, she added to this distinction by becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.
B. Read to infer
1. Why was Elizabeth’s decision to become a doctor unusual?
Ans. Elizabeth’s decision to become a doctor was unusual because during her time, there were no female doctors in the United States.
2. Why was being the best student in her class of special importance for Elizabeth?
Ans. She was the best student in her class and thus, she graduated at the head of her class and became the first female doctor.
3. Do you think Emmeline was right in calling off the suffrage movement during the war years? Give a reason for your answer.
Ans. Yes, Emmeline was right in calling off the suffrage movement during the war years because as a citizen, it was her responsibility to support the country’s war efforts.
(Answer will vary)
4. Elizabeth Blackwell’s and Amelia Earhart’s personal achievements were important not only for them but also for women in general. Explain.
Ans. Elizabeth Blackwell’s and Amelia Earhart’s personal achievements were important not only for them but also for women in general. They have become incredible role models for their country women and serve as an inspiration across countries, regions and generations. They have paved the path for other women and girls to follow in their footsteps and become future leaders.
(Answer will vary)
1. Do you think that forty years after Elizabeth’s struggle to get a medical degree, a young Indian girl, Kadambini Ganguly, braved opposition, harassment, and hardships to get a medical degree in 1887. Look up the Internet to find more information about her and share it with the others in class. Compare her struggles with those of Blackwell.
Ans. (Do it yourself)
2. Today, as opposed to the times described in the passage, women are not only working in different fields but also picking up unusual professions. Look up the Internet to find out about any one such unique profession and share the information in class.
Ans. (Do it yourself)