Free Essay. Suffragette Movement in the UK in the Early 1900s

Published: 2023-03-15
Free Essay. Suffragette Movement in the UK in the Early 1900s
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Women Discrimination Feminism Europe
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 796 words
7 min read

A suffragette was referred to as a member of the women's organization in the military who fought for the right to vote during the public elections. Generally, their needs were for women to have the right to vote. During the start of the 19th century in the United Kingdom, there were some women who could vote during the general elections because they owned property (Fisher, 2017). However, the women were generally expected to be somewhere else may be taking care of home matters such as household chores and childcare because that was their job description. This way, the men had been delegated to take care of political matters.

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The politics of the UK led to more Acts being passed that ensured the extension of the right to vote for men only and did not extend the same for women. Thus, it gave birth to the start of the suffragette movement. In this century, there were many women campaigning for universal suffrage and they were granted these rights in the 20th century.

Some history about the movement shows that there was a lady by the name of Lady Becker who formed the program known as the "National Society or Women's Suffrage" (Fisher, 2017). It referred to one of the groups that fought for suffrage. The groups were able to hold meetings and write petitions as well as letters. They needed to have an influence on the members of the parliament so that they would raise the subject of women's suffrage.

Membership to the program of the "Women's social and political union" was limited to women only. The members were determined that they would gain these rights in the end by all means. This way, they campaigned tirelessly and they sometimes had to be violent for them to achieve a particular aim. The violent acts were such as bomb attacks, arson attacks, hunger striking, and disruption of public meetings as well as demolishing the letterboxes. The only reason they pushed to the extent of the violence was because they felt that that the impact of peaceful tactics had become exhausted and they needed a more radical approach for them to be heard.

The tactic of this particular program was to cause disruption as well as some kind of civil disobedience. They would create a "rush in the parliament and also encouraged the public to join them so as to invade the House of Commons. However, they did not receive any government action towards their needs hence led them to undertake more violent acts. These included getting to attack people's property and breaking the law if it was necessary. Their acts led to the imprisonment of some members while in other regions, there were hunger strikes. The tactics, however, did a good deal in attracting attention for the campaign of even men to advocate for women to vote (Pate, 2017).

The protests can to an end after the beginning of the First World War and there was a winning vote made. When the war began, the suffragette movements ceased the campaigns because they wanted to help with the efforts in the war. Since the beginning of the big war, there were men from various regions that signed up to engage in the fighting. All along, the enlistment numbers kept decreased and there was an introduction of conscription. More men left to fight in the war and the women did not have any other choice but to replace the men in their workplace so as to keep the country going.

There were women also recruited to work during the war. This way, the work of these women helped in changing the perception that they had about their role in society. There was opening up of employment opportunities for the women. They could get jobs in various industries such as civil service, weapons manufacturing and also in the transport sector. The government, later on, decided to revise the franchise when they realized that the current law of voting would prohibit the number of men who were fighting from being involved in the general election. The right for the women to vote was granted by the "Representation of the People Act" of 1918 (Pate, 2017). Women above the age of 21 were given the right to vote despite their property ownership. It was however unfortunate that by the time the act was granted the vote, the majority of the well-known suffragists and many campaigners were all deal. The suffragette movement had fought a good fight in ensuring that women had their rights in place and the need for equity.


Fisher, A. J. (2017). Representation of the British suffrage movement.Pate, G. M. (2017). A Woman's Weapon: Hunger Strikes and Force Feedings in the British Women's Suffrage Movement, 1903-1917. From

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