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Women and children first order given on a ship in difficulty, indicationg that women and children should be allowed on to the lifeboats before men; in allusive (and often humorous) use, warning of a risky or unpleasant situation. The term is recorded from the mid 19th century.

women beneath a cloak a group of women beneath a cloak is the emblem of St Ursula, who was said to have been put to death with 11,000 virgins.

women's liberation the liberation of women from inequalities and subservient status in relation to men, and from attitudes causing these (now generally replaced by the term feminism).

See also England is the paradise of women, woman.

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