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Women over 30 gained the vote in 1918 mainly because of women's contribution to the war effort. Do you agree? Explain your answer

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Introduction

3) Women over 30 gained the vote in 1918 mainly because of women's contribution to the war effort. Do you agree? Explain your answer. I agree that the main reason women over 30 got the vote in 1918 was because of their contribution to the war however I think there were many other reasons as well. Women helped a lot in the war effort in the First World War and this played a big part in why women over 30 got the vote in 1918. When war broke out in 1914 the Pankhursts called an end to the Suffragette campaign and urged all their members and supporters to help with the war effort. Because the war was only expected to be short, at the start women were often turned down when they offered to help the war effort. They weren't expected to do more than make clothes for soldiers. In 1915 when in became apparent the war wasn't going to be short and it was discovered the army didn't have enough shells to fight properly women stepped in to help. ...read more.

Middle

Women worked in munitions factories but the conditions were awful. The women could become ill and infertile but continued working because they made �3 a week and liked to show men they could help with the war. They wanted to prove they could be responsible and work just as well as men could. Women also did many other jobs men had left when they joined the armed forces. For example women became farmers, bus conductresses and guards. After the war attitudes to women were changed because they had proved that they could work and didn't just want to, or need to, sit at home all day or wash or cook or look after children. When men came home they were given their old jobs back so women did have to give them up. Women were still being prejudiced against, but after the war they were allowed to wear trousers and smoke, which meant some peoples views of women had changed, which was a good sign. ...read more.

Conclusion

During the war, Suffragettes had stopped being violent for four years and so it was a good opportunity to give women the vote without the MP's appearing to support their violent methods. Also parliament wanted to give women the vote before they had a chance to start up their militant campaign again because the war had stopped. Votes for Women was brought to many people s attention because of the Suffragettes methods so they played an important part in the change in the law being made. Also the Suffragists helped because they were what the Suffragettes had come from and also they hadn't stopped campaigning for 50-60 years so many people began to recognise how serious they were about this and how important it was to them. Overall I think one of the main reasons women over thirty were given the vote in 1918 was their contribution to the war but I don't think it was the only reason. Every effort made by the Suffragettes and Suffragists went on to help the cause and persuade more people to support Votes for Women and eventually change the law. Jennifer Stanger History Coursework Summer 2003 -1- ...read more.

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