• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Changing Role and Status of Women in Britain Since 1900

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Changing Role and Status of Women in Britain Since 1900 1. Explain why women failed to gain the right to vote between 1900 and 1914. In the twentieth century women's role in society was hugely different to what it is today. Women were regarded as being inferior to men and were treated as such. Although girls were given a compulsory state education 1870, few went to university and those who did were not awarded a degree. Women had very few rights under marriage, when a woman married; she and all her possessions became the property of her husband. Furthermore the criminal acts today of wife-battering and marital rape were legal. Even with this occurring in many marriages it was extremely difficult for a woman to get a divorce, as it was too expensive. During this period there was also a strong sexual double standard. Sexual purity was crucial for a woman of good standing. Men of the middle and upper classes spread and produced pornographic material and prostitution. This was hypocritical as men of these classes would have never considered their own daughters to be involved in pornography or prostitution. Women who did work in this period were working class doing low paid menial jobs. ...read more.

Middle

Fawcett used open air processions such as the 'Mud March' in February 1917, which the largest demonstration ever held up to that point. Over 3000 respectable women participated. However it could be argued that Fawcett and her organisation were too quiet and peaceful to make themselves be heard and for the government to be made to reform. Both these separate movements of the NUWSS and the WSPU did not help in achieving the vote sooner, as they were both travelling in different directions with their objectives. The movement was too fragmented and needed one united major movement. The leaders of the organisations had ideological differences. Fawcett believed women were morally superior to men and therefore would not lower themselves to their standard and use violence. On the other hand the WSPU believed that men were sexually exploiting women and in order to stop the sexual abuse they would have to use violence to fight back. As well as the NUWSS and the WSPU there were also too many separate organisations. They hindered the movement as they also had different aims. For example the East London Federation formed after splitting from the WSPU, because Christabel Pankhurst ran a very autocratic organisation. ...read more.

Conclusion

This meant nearly all the munitions workers were left without the vote.It was believed that women under 30 would be likely to support feminist or radical reforms. Overall the idea of women's role in society had changed but not yet to the extent of equality. Women were still underpinned by the male the government, who limited the vote as they were frightened of replaced by women. The bill allowing only women over 30 to be enfranchised was extremely unfair as most of the women contributing to the war effort were under this age. Nevertheless it was the first step to gaining equal franchine in 1928. The First World War certainly helped to raise the awareness of the women's suffrage cause as a credible one, by showing they could work as well as men. Furthermore the extinguinshing of militancy from the movement helped the public to realise sympathise with them and therefore give them their support. However some may say that the First World War was not the reason for reform because of several underlying issues. The government did not want to give women the vote because their work on the home front, but were forced to by enfranchising all the soldiers who served, By doing this and not recognises women's efforsts in the war they would have faced a huge resurgence in militancy. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. The media plays an important role in society. What is its role and to ...

    This is why I think that generally there are more tabloids and other magazines that sell in huge numbers in comparison with the broadsheets Looking specifically at news papers, there are two different types; Tabloids and broadsheets. Tabloids are in my opinion filled with rubbish for the shallow minded people.

  2. How far do you agree that the role of the Trade Unions was the ...

    in 1970 they loosed, the public had not been impressed with the progress they had made and so they were not re-elected, this perhaps shows the reliance that Labour still had on the TUs. The years 1970-74 saw a Conservative government making unpopular policy, which was anti Strikes, when the

  1. Description of Citizenship Activity Describe how you participated in a school or community based ...

    On the 6th of June, the practical and communication group carried on, making the posters banners and questionnaires, and they started asking the research group for more information. On the 11th of June, the communication group phones up the RSPCA, and persuaded them have a representative to visit the school.

  2. Free essay

    Consider the view that the liberal government reforms 1906-1914 were more concerned with the ...

    it was the labour parties first debate to push through old age pensions), but from the co operative movement, the TUC, the Fabians along side the friendly societies and the Charity Organisation Society, both of whom had previously opposed to the idea.11 Although aims in the act may have been

  1. Who would you vote for?

    It seems to me that they have little idea how to deal with the problem, and simply make promises that they hope will win them votes. Over-crowded prisons are one thing, but surely the right way to go about this problem is to look at why people so readily re-offend and the sentencing system.

  2. How significant was The First World War in the Labour Party's rise to second-party ...

    The new executive gave a significant amount of influence to the Trade Unions and incorporated them into the party on a permanent basis. The socialist element of the new constitution was defined in Clause IV committing the party to "the common ownership of the means of production,"9 an element that

  1. Minority Rights, Identity Politics and Gender in Bangladesh: Current Problems and Issues

    Violence against women covered rape, abduction, honor killings, sexual exploitation and slavery. Welfare has always been associated with concerns related to women for example women as nurses, homemakers, nurturers.

  2. With the introduction of conscription in 1916, many jobs formally male dominated were open ...

    However by mid-1915 it became clear that the war would last longer and the government first started to intervene. The government took over key industries such as transport. This would ensure that the necessary personnel and military supplies into the Armed forces as soon as possible.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work