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How important was Emmeline Pankhurst in obtaining the vote for women?

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Introduction

How important was Emmeline Pankhurst in obtaining the vote for women? Emmeline Pankhurst was born into a family with strong political beliefs about feminist issues. From an early age her mother took her to women's suffrage meetings, which awakened her interest in women's rights. She started playing an active role in obtaining the franchise for women when she met Richard Pankhurst in 1878. Richard was a supporter of the women's franchise and had drafted the women's property bill. Emmeline's first major role was helping to form a pressure group called the 'Women's Franchise League'. When she became a Poor Law Guardian she was shocked at the suffering of people in the workhouses, especially women and young girls. ...read more.

Middle

Through using these methods many members were arrested, and between 1907 and 1914 Emmeline spent most of her time in prison. She even used this to her political advantage by going on hunger strikes to gain attention from the press and get released from prison under the 'Cat and Mouse' Act, where people that went on hunger strikes could be released from prison and re-arrested when they had recovered. When the First World War broke out in 1914 the WSPU started negotiating with the Government. Emmeline Pankhurst was in a position of power that enabled her to stop all protesting during the war and help with the war effort. ...read more.

Conclusion

Emmeline died in the same year, her daughter Christabel said 'She, who had come to them in their need, had stayed with women as long as they still might need her, and then went away.' Emmeline Pankhurst was a very important figure in obtaining the franchise for women. She was an educated woman in a privileged position who used her status amongst women to fight for better political and social rights for all. By raising awareness of the issues and becoming a leader of women, she was in a good position to encourage women the support the economic and military efforts of their country during the time of war. It was evidence of a woman's' real worth, that convinced the Government to change the law and not all the violent protesting they had done before the war. Laura Bond 11GY2Y ...read more.

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