Tag Archives: Emmeline Pankhurst

Women’s Suffrage and the movement’s influence on government policy

It’s the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which gave women over the age of 30, with certain property qualifications, the right to vote in national elections in the UK for the first time (UK Parliament, 2016). How much of that law was influenced by the Women’s Suffrage Movement is hotly debated among academics and historians.

The term ‘women’s suffrage’ is often incorrectly used to mean ‘Suffragette’ but in fact Suffragettes were the more militant wing of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) lead by Emmeline Pankhurst. Suffragists using more law-abiding methods under the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), led by Millicent Garrett Fawcett, did not describe themselves as Suffragettes and there is a question over whether the more famous, militant actions were as effective as the quieter lobbying by the NUWSS (Purvis, 2013).
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