Female Suffrage Essay

Submitted By Dani_17
Words: 1404
Pages: 6

What Was The Most Important Factor To Obtaining The Female Suffrage?

There are many factors that contributed to women obtaining the vote. These factors are: Suffragettes, Suffragists, Attitudes to women and WWI. I think the most important factor was WW1. Women received the vote in 1928, 10 years after the war had ended, shortly after Emmeline Pankhurst died and a year before Millicent Fawcett would die.

WWI began in 1914. Women on the home front were left by their husbands, brothers, sons and lovers as they went to war. When the men left to war they had no guarantee to return, meaning that it could be the last time that many women and children would ever see their husbands and fathers again. Women were then required to do many extra things such as getting a job in a factory or in other industrial areas. By doing this they earned an income for their family but also took up time to see and care for their children who were still at home. As well as working and earning money, women had to cook and clean. On top of this, women volunteered in organisations such as Red Cross and helped make clothing, food and provide other items to send to the men fighting in the war. Many people thought women were incapable to be doing a ‘man’s job’ but there was no-one else to do it as every man was at war. They tried to recruit more and more men but they could not ignore the women’s help. Women fought the government and many companies to work where men worked so they could earn money and keep their family alive.

I think this is the most important factor to obtaining the women’s vote because women’s experiences in the war raised their self-images and women showed that they were individual. The Suffragists and the Suffragettes work had a lot to do with women obtaining the vote but women doing a man’s job showed the men what the women could really do. The Government and the general public recognised that women deserved the vote. All the young women had contributed all they could to support all the men on the homefront, it wasn’t only an effort to get the vote but to serve their country. During the war, the women felt like they had more freedom to do things they had never done before, like wearing makeup, smoking and drinking in public. It gave women chances to express themselves they never would have done in front of men. When the war ended in 1918 it was discussed thoroughly and women finally got the vote in 1928.

The Suffragettes were a violent protest group led by Emmeline Pankhurst. This group was founded in 1903 and was made up of all types of women who wanted the vote. Emmeline Pankhurst was born on 15th July 1858 in Manchester. Her father Robert came from a family who were radically political as he was present at the Peterloo Massacre in 1819. Her mother, Sophia Crane was a passionate feminist and started taking her daughter to Women's suffrage meetings in the early 1870s. Emmeline was one of nine children and Sophia believed that Emmeline was the most bright and intelligent of them all.
When Emmeline returned back to Manchester after finishing school. She met a lawyer called Richard. After Richards sudden death from Ulcers in 1898 Emmeline focused her everything on WSPU. Emmeline founded the Women's Franchise League (WSPU) which fought to allow married women to vote in local elections. Emmeline's daughters Christabel and Sylvia were involved in the cause. At first their protests were peaceful with marches that were much organised and no violence involved. But as time went on nobody would listen to them and they were not making a change or any progress. Emmeline said 'peaceful if we can, forceful if we must' Then after this the Suffragettes took a full violent approach to get what they wanted. One of the extreme measures they took was in 1913, when WSPU member Emily Davison was killed when she threw herself under the king's horse at the Derby as a protest at the government's failure to grant women the right to vote. Their