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was the work women did in the war an important reason why they were given the vote in 1918

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Introduction

Was the work women did in the war the most important reason why they were given the vote in 1918? Before 1918, a large group of women were known to undergo the 'suffrage' movement - in order to get votes for women and rights etc. The two groups that built this movement were the suffragists, and the suffragettes. The suffragists practised in political, moral peaceful methods in protesting against the government - whereas the suffragettes were uncivilised, immoral and violent in their techniques of gaining notice from the government and to try and encourage them to give them 'the vote'. However, the government opposed. The 'suffrage movement' began from 1907 and lasted till the beginning of world war one. This became a key point in the suffragist/suffragettes chances of getting 'the vote' as they had stopped because of the war effort. ...read more.

Middle

For instance, Isobel M Pazzey of Woolwich reflected a widely-held view when she wrote to the Daily Herald in October 1919 declaring that 'No decent man would allow his wife to work, and no decent woman would do it if she knew the harm she was doing to the widows and single girls who are looking for work.' She directed: 'Put the married women out, send them home to clean their houses and look after the man they married and give a mother's care to their children. Give the single women and widows the work.' In some occupations, single women insisted on excluding their married sisters. For instance, in 1921, female civil servants passed a resolution asking for the banning of married women from their jobs. The resulting ban was enforced until 1946. ...read more.

Conclusion

In 1917, the government became aware of the need to call an election. The problem was that, according to the law, only men who had been resident in the country for 12 months prior to the election were entitled to vote, effectively disenfranchising a large number of troops who had been serving overseas. This dilemma forced Parliament to revise the franchise. At this point, the arguments of Millicent Fawcett and the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies proved particularly persuasive and, by drawing attention to the work of women during the war, persuaded the Liberal leader, Asquith, to grant a minority of women the vote. But it was not until 1928 that women over the age of 21 were finally allowed to vote. In effect, this meant that in 1918, 8.5 million women were enfranchised, or 40 per cent of the total number of women. In 1928, this was boosted to 15 million, or 53 per cent of total number of women. ...read more.

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