Skip Main Navigation
Page Content


The Commonwealth Countries League (CCL) has a fascinating and exciting history going back to the SUFFRAGETTE Movement. It started life as the British Commonwealth League. The BCL was conceived as an idea in 1923 by a group of women who had been involved in the suffrage movement. While ‘League’ may sound old fashioned now, it was then the height of modernity and ‘Commonwealth’ was a word ahead of its time.


Some Australian women had come to London to march in the suffrage parades in support of the British suffragettes, their main aim being to support women of any ethnicity, in other Dominions and colonies to get the vote. Women also came from India, the Caribbean, South Africa and other countries. But the BCL itself was established to “promote equality of liberties, status and opportunities between women and men, and to encourage mutual understanding throughout the Commonwealth”.




Dame Margaret Corbett-Ashby, BCL’s first president, who stood as a liberal candidate at several elections, was the driving force behind the League before the Second World War. Also founding members were Myra Sadd-Brown and her daughter Myra Stedman, grandmother and mother of our Vice-president Diana Dollery. Myra Sadd-Brown was arrested and imprisoned with hard labour for two months, for throwing a brick through the window of the War Office. Diana says, “In my family it’s always regarded with pride that my grandmother went to prison”.


An exciting beginning for the League indeed!


Save This Event

Event Saved