Getting the vote

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Women and the vote;

Women in society in the late 1800's

  • Women were second class citizens, it was thought perfectly reasonable for women to earn less than men and fewer legal rights.
  • Marriage left women with even less rights, until 1882 when the women’s property act finally gave women the right to own land, in 1889 married women were recognised as individuals by law.
  • 1889

Women’s franchise league takes up the right of married women and campaigns for equality in divorce, inheritance and custody of children.

  • 1891

Free and compulsory education is introduced for all working class children up to the age of twelve.

  • 1894

Parish council’s act permits propertied women and ratepayers to serve on urban and parish district councils.

  • 1896

Factory act bans the employment of children under eleven in factories, women are not allowed to be employed four weeks after having a child.

  • 1897

Non-militant national Union of women's suffrage societies was formed by well-educated middle-class women frustrated with their lives

  • 1901

Factory act reduces by one hour the numbers of hours a women can work 


·         Officially called the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS)

  • These were the early campaigners, mainly middle-class women.
  • The leader of the movement was Millicent Fawcett, she believed in constitutional campaigning, she argued her case with MP's, issued leaflets, presented petitions and organised meetings.
  • She believed it was crucial to be in the public eye: at every election suffragists questioned candidates on their attitude to women's suffrage, she described the suffragist movement as "being like a


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