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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 with this view? Explain your answer.

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Introduction

Question 3 Women over 30 gained the vote in 1918 mainly because of women's contribution to the war effort. Do you agree with this view? Explain your answer. I agree with the view that women gained the vote due to their contributions to the war. Previously, men have done the vast majority of the work, with women mainly being homemakers and mothers. Whilst the men were away fighting, women had to stand in for them at work, and proved that they were just as capable as men to do the work, and at some jobs, better. Emmeline Pankhurst married a barrister and was the leader of the suffragettes. ...read more.

Middle

It could possibly have been because whilst the suffragettes had temporarily given up their campaigning in favor of the war, the suffragists had time and space to move forward in their campaign. Before the war, women did have jobs, just not the same jobs as men. Women were servants and dressmakers and suchlike, they did not handle heavy materials etc. When the men went away to war, they proved that they could, and would. At the end of the war, women were doing jobs such as shipbuilding, grave digging, bus drivers and steel workers. Many men felt threatened and resented the women, but this was mainly in certain, extremely masculine circumstances. ...read more.

Conclusion

Only men living permanently in the UK could vote, and as most of the men were abroad fighting for their country. The government revised the voting system, and the campaigners took the opportunity to push the government for the vote. Therefore, the war had a major effect in that respect on how women were perceived. Another element in the decision would have been the fact that men and women spent so much time together that the "rules" between men and women were demolished. They no longer required a chaperone, women started visiting pubs, and the illegitimacy rates had increased 30% by the end of the war. In conclusion, I think that if WW1 did not happen, women would not have got the vote when they did; it definitely helped a great deal. ...read more.

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