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Women over 30 got 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

Women over 30 got the vote in 1918 mainly because of women's contribution to the war effort. Do you agree? Explain your answer. In 1918 all men got the vote at 21 and all women got the vote at 30. However, women had to be householders or married to a householder. It is often said that women were given the vote because of the war. The war did change the situation in many ways. The obvious effect was that the women's role in the war was greatly appreciated - other than the usual criticism towards females. Public opinion gradually grew in favour of women. The war helped the participation of women in everyday life to the nation and proved how able they actually were. ...read more.

Middle

It would have been quite embarrassing and probably unpopular to imprison women, who had played such an important role in the war effort. All the work women did must give them the right to be allowed to share in the politics of their country. Asquith (PM in 1916) changed his attitude towards women, he claimed: "women have aided in the most effective way in the prosecution of the war... have not the women a special claim to be heard on the many questions which will arise directly affecting their interests? I say quite frankly I cannot deny that claim" Many other people were in favour of women, such as Churchill and Lloyd George, who replaced Asquith's position as PM. ...read more.

Conclusion

If women were given the major roles that they did during WWI at some other time, who knows what may of happened to the women's right to vote? In reality, women were greatly resented in agriculture and industry, men "froze out" women workers, gave them no help and even destroyed their work. Many men could have been considered jealous of the women's sudden ability to earn a living, many believed that the women was to be at home to look after the children and cook meals. Women's war work may have been important in converting some former opponents, but even before this the political alliances and the democratic suffragists had formed in support of their demand had ensured that women would have to be included in any future reform bill. ...read more.

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