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Votes for Women.

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Votes for Women Introduction The right to vote, known as suffrage, in general elections, was given to women who were 30 years old and over in 1918. This new law that allowed women of that age to vote, was made by the end of the First World War from 1914-1918. However, many women had campaigned well before the war started for the right to vote. There were 2 types of groups- the suffragists who were formed first; and the suffragettes who were formed afterwards, a little while later. Both groups acted in different ways too. The suffragists campaigned for the right to vote in a peaceful way, whereas the suffragettes mainly used violence in their movement to gain the right to vote. The suffragettes had eye-catching posters, developed demonstrations and used acts of violence to get their message across. Many went to prison and went on hunger strike, as you will find out later. However, when war against Germany started in 1914, the suffragettes stopped their campaign in order to help in the war effort. They encouraged men to join up and go to war, and appealed to women to take over the work of the men while they were away fighting in the war. This eventually led up to grant the women over 30 the right to vote as you will see in further depth later on. ...read more.


While in prison suffragettes followed the lead of Marion Dunlop, who refused to eat during her prison sentence in 1909. Marion was released because of her actions and prison authorities had to force feed hunger-striking women rather then set them all free. The practice of hunger-strikes became common with women of the WSPU who had been imprisoned. Over an eighteen month period of the women's suffrage movement in Great Britain, Emmeline went on total of ten hunger-strikes. Parliament was forced to pass the Cat and Mouse Act. This allowed hunger-striking women to be released from prison under the condition that they continue their sentence after they regained their strength. This picture represents the force that the police used against the militant actions of the WSPU. Their actions, which led to many of them being placed in jail, surprised and disgusted many British citizens. This image is of Emmeline and her daughter, Christabel. The two suffragettes are in their prison clothes. It shows what the women would wear when they were sent to jail for their protests. The women endured great hardships to win the right to vote. Hunger Strikes It was Marion Wallace Dunlop who was the first to go on a hunger strike. She had been arrested and convicted of wilful damage, caused by rubber-stamping a Bill of Rights message on a wall at St. ...read more.


The result to many men who were soldiers was, they lost the right to vote! This act affected millions of men who were in the war. Herbert Asquith, in 1916, began to face up to the fact that women were going to get the vote. With so many women aiding the war effort, he realised that circumstances had changed forever. He couldn't see how they could prevent them from getting the vote after the war ended. In the House of Commons in June 1917, the women's suffrage bill was debated. The idea that women were lower to men was squashed and that women really were equal in the social, academic and financial fields. Also, during the First World War, Emmeline Pankhurst went to other countries to urge the women there to do the same as she done, and fight for the right to vote. Finally, in January 1918, women were for the first time given the right to vote. It had taken them nearly forty years. They were given the right to vote after more than one thousand suffragettes had been jailed in order for the right to vote. They had suffered hard labour and the humiliation of force-feeding in dirty prisons. They had suffered broken bodies but not broken spirits. Some had paid the ultimate price for the right in life to be free, and to be treated as equals. They were finally given the right to vote. ...read more.

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