Reasons why Women shouldn't have the Vote
- Women´s place was at home
- Would neglect their children
- They did not fight in the War
- Too violent, not in intelligent (Suffragettes)
- Some would not use the vote
- Women´s vote was represented by their husband
Why Women should have the Vote
- Other countries gave women the vote
- Women paied taxes
- Some women were better off than men (education), but they were still not allowed to vote
- NUWSS (National Union of Womens Suffrage Societies)
- Formed in 1897
- Leader: Millicent Fawcett
- By 1914 there were 400 branches and 100,000 members
- Successful at propaganda - leaflets, posters and letters to MP´s (Member of Parliment)
- Failed did not get the Vote by 1914
- WSPU (Womens Social Political Union)
- Formed in 1903
- Leader: Emmeline Pankhurst with daughters Sylvia and Christabel
- Believed in violent method
- Heckled politicians, heled marches, members chained themselves to railings, attacked poliecemen, broke windowns, slashed paintings, set fire to buildings, thre bombs and went on hunger strike when they were sent to prison.
- One suffrage, Emily Davidson ran out in front of the kings horse during the derby of 1913 and was killed.
The Suffragettes Effectiveness
- Did not achieve vote in 1914
- Violent actions changed some MP´s minds and turned opinions against them
- The action of the Suffrage made the fight for womens suffrage unforgettable
- Many admired the Suffragettes fot the willingness to suffer for their cause, such as the hunger strikes and force feeding in prision
- The police and the Government treated them harshly
- The Suffragettes were treated poorly in prison and went on hunger strikes, this lead them to be force fead. This gained them sypmathy and support from the public
- In 1913, the Cat and Mouse act was introduced. It aloud suffragettes who went on hunger strikes to be released to become healthy again, and then be recaptured, therefore preventing the need to be force feed. Of course, this meant that women were free to commit whatever crimes for their cause before going back to prison.
What Women did during the War
Women on the Front line
- Hospital units were set up, with mainly female nurses
- Thousands of women volunterred to set up soup kitchens and other services
- The Womens Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) was formed in 1918. They were mainly female drivers, secretaries and officials on the Western Front.
Women and Recruitment
- Female members of the Active Service League encouraged young men to enlist
- The Mothers' Union published posters crtising mothers who wouldn't let their sons join up
Women and War Work
- Government departments hired 200,000 women
- Women worked in engineering
- Women worked on the land in the Womens' Land Army
Why Women were given the Vote in 1918
- In 1918, the Representation of the People Act was introduced. As well as included votes for women who were 30 or over and either owned a home or lived with someone who did, it was extended to men over the age of 21, as some had lived outside of Britain for 4 years, and were therefore not eligable to vote.
- Due to this, 9 million women got the vote.
Why was the war an important factor in women getting the vote?
- The amount of work put in in the war effort showed that the women deserved the right to vote