Women's enfranchisement 100 years on: How much has really changed?

Mayoress Christine Duckworth with local councillors

"This is important to Rochdale because there were many people from Rochdale who were in the suffragette movement and apparently there was once a meeting at 2 Baillie Street".

She also believes that while Labour has done the heavy lifting of getting women into Parliament, it is Mrs May who has the power as Prime Minister to effect real change for women on equal pay, domestic violence and childcare provision.

It would be a further 10 years until the vote was extended to all women, when the Equal Franchise Act was passed, but it was a major step in the right direction.

Although none of us are particularly privy to detailing the exact relationships each woman had with other women, knowing that they existed in the positions they do can empower us to see our own role in society a little bit differently.

"For example, they were anxious women might vote for a special women's party and not the established political parties". A decade later in 1928, the suffragettes were successful in granting working class women and all women under the age of 30 the right to vote, as well as the right to vote for all men over 21.

Campaigners have called for convicted suffragettes to receive posthumous pardons, citing the precedent of pardons given to gay men who were convicted of now-abolished offenses for homosexuality.

The struggle by British women for suffrage began in the mid-19th century and Sheffield was the first place in the country to have formed a women's suffrage society run by women for women - The Sheffield Women's Political Association. Take that great Victorian liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill and his wife Harriet Taylor, champions of female suffrage. In some cases they are written out of history altogether - which is especially true of the women who fought against having the vote.

There were also arguments much closer to home. It also gave the right to vote to all men over 21.

"It is a vast upheaval of social institutions and habits, which must cut into the peace and well-being of families and harm the education of children", the article claimed. Critics said their slogan should be not "Votes for Women" but "Votes for Ladies".


But Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis told Sky News the party would not be introducing all-women shortlists to get more women on the Conservative benches.

"The qualities in which their minds excel are those least required in politics; their strong points are wasted or harmful there".

The suffragettes suspended their campaign of direct action when war broke out.

Speaking to Sky News, Ms Rudd said: "It's something that I will look at".

One women who actively campaigned in the area of Gwent was Newport's Lady Rhondda.

Prof June Purvis of the University of Portsmouth has collected many postcards printed with anti-suffrage messages and imagery.

"It is shocking but I suppose when you think about how much women had to go through in order to get the vote", Ms Wilkin said. This happened in the late 19th to early 20th century.

The Manchester house where Pankhurst founded the group is a museum and women's centre.

In the image, one woman is staring into a hand mirror, while another reads a book in the corner and yet another has brought her baby with her. In 1893 women in South Australia achieved the same right and became the first to obtain the right to stand for parliament in 1895. We care because women such as Emmeline Pankhurst and Emily Davison were heckled, abused, force-fed, imprisoned and even died for our rights that we now take for granted.

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