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Women’s right to vote - Source related work.

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Women's Right to Vote Source A, the Suffragette poster shows pictures of skill-full women and the jobs in which they are able to meet the requirements. A mother, nurse, doctor, teacher, factory hand and even a mayor all jobs showing responsibility and respectability. A woman can get qualifications to be a teacher or doctor, (and still didn't get equal pay to men in the same job) get elected to become mayor, but no choice when it comes to government affairs. On the other hand the poster showed the men who weren't necessarily mentally fit or moral who could vote. The poster shows Convicts, the mentally ill drunkard etc. It shows several different types of men with little responsibility or respect for themselves. E.g. the Proprietor of White Slaves. And these people had the vote because of their sex. This poster was trying to show the double standards between men and women and the absurdity of who can and cannot vote. Others who could not vote also included * Men who did not own a property or pay´┐Ż10+ a year on rent * Servants who lived with their employers * Criminals * Lunatics Women were frustrated by the fact that they were put in the same category with uncivilised people and felt that by having the vote, this would eventually give them opportunities to make changes in the law. ...read more.


In July 1914, there were 170,000 women working in the metal industries. By the end of the war in 1918, this number increased by 350% to 594,000. Women worked as doctors, treating the wounded British soldiers. Half a million women became clerical workers in private offices. A quarter of a million worked in agriculture. Over 700,000 women worked in highly dangerous munitions industry. There was also a big demand for women to do heavy work like unloading coat building ships, stoking furnaces etc. In Christabel Pankhurst's book 'Unshackled' she explained her reaction to the news in 1914 about the war. 'Mother and I declared support for our country' 'we offered our service to the country and called upon all members to do likewise'. Emmeline Pankhurst once said 'what would be the good of a vote without a country to vote in!' Good point. Source F was published by the government, meaning it was propaganda and quite insistent in its tone. It shows that there was an incredibly high need for women in the munitions industries. The statistics also show that women rose to the occasion and worked in all the areas where there were gaps. The fact that they worked in heavy load and agriculture shows their dedication to the war effort. As source G was written decades after World War 1 it seems more balanced and less biased. ...read more.


Public opinion towards women became incredibly favourable and they were no longer subjected to loads of criticism by the press. Media did change public opinion and definitely played a part in creating more equality between the sexes. Also, there was less divisions between the classes. There was a genuine feeling that people wanted there to be a better world and that would include everybody getting the vote. Possibly the fact that sooo many women started to work for the government would of made some difference to being enfranchised as well. Besides, it was obvious that after the war, the suffrage campaign would continue. All this information would seem to imply that women's effort during the war did play a part in them getting the vote. On the other hand, Paula Bartley who wrote 'Votes for Women' in 1998 seems to disagree with this 'women over 30 were given the vote, the very women who had helped in the war effort-the young women who worked in the munitions factories-were actually denied the vote'. Interesting, this shows that the actual fact that women could do men's jobs had no influence on the Government's decision to give women the vote. One important thing that happened during the war was the fact that Lloyd George replaced Asquith as Prime Minister who was more kind-hearted towards women's Suffrage. Also, new Zealand, Australia, Finland, Denmark and Norway women had already been enfranchised. Britain would look stupid being the 'Mother of Democracy' to lag behind. 1 ...read more.

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