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Women over thirty gained the vote in 1918 mainly because of women's contribution to the war effort". Do you agree?

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Introduction

George Cohen "Women over thirty gained the vote in 1918 mainly because of women's contribution to the war effort". Do you agree? Women over thirty succeeded in getting the vote in 1918. The effort to get the vote had already massively started, but 1918 was straight after the First World War, so was it the main factor that won them the vote? Or maybe it just speeded up the inevitable changes that were already taking place? Or maybe it made little change to previous efforts? I am going to discuss the factors for the questions above to try to decide if the war was the main factor in achieving women's suffrage. ...read more.

Middle

On average they were doing these jobs just as well, or sometimes better, than men were doing them before. Women were now keeping the money that they earned, as opposed to it being given to the husband or father. This meant that when the war had finished some men were not householders, and therefore did not have the right to vote, and of course women were not allowed to vote, so there was a very small amount of people voting! Women saw this as a window of opportunity, and carried on the campaign for suffrage. Another factor that helped women to get suffrage was international trend. By 1918 Denmark, New Zealand and Norway had already given women the vote, and Britain did not want to seem out of step. ...read more.

Conclusion

Was women's contribution to the First World War the main contributor to women over 30 gaining suffrage in 1918? I do not think it was. The war was a chance to prove themselves by doing something that would be respected. So of course it was a major factor, but I do not think it was the main factor. A lot of women who were working in the war were working class, and they still did not receive the vote. This was because the government believed that married women would vote as their husbands did, and the working class were more likely to vote Labour. I think that women's contribution to the war speeded up changes that were already taking place because parliament was no longer afraid of looking bad if they gave women the vote, but I do not think it was the main factor. ...read more.

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