Celebrating 100 years of the suffragette spirit

Celebrating 100 years of the suffragette spirit

More than eight million women were given the right to vote when the Representation of the People Act was passed in February 1918. Women did see some progress - in 1859 the first female doctor was registered, in 1878 women could graduate from university, and in 1882 women were allowed to keep inherited property and wages.

However over the next ten years laws were introduced that eliminated women's rights from serving on juries, working after marriage, and working in industry.

"Labour in government will both pardon the suffragettes and give an official apology for the miscarriages of justice and wider persecution they suffered".

Amber Rudd has thrown her backing behind a proposal from the Fawcett Society and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson to give posthumous pardons to suffragettes.

In the crackdown ordered by Winston Churchill, then the home secretary, police officers punched marchers and "pulled on women's breasts", according to local media reports.

This act created more inequality for women because it abolished property and other restrictions for men, and extended the vote to all men over the age of 21.

The venue played host to 25 women's suffrage meetings, and was called a "Temple of Liberty" by campaignersPAEmmeline Pankhurst, suffragette leader and founder of the Women's Social and Political Union, addresses a crowd in Trafalgar Square in 1909PAA suffragette is arrested by police officers in 1914. "Except that at the time that was not their priority because formal equality was not there yet", the academic said.

Referencing the exclusion of some women from enfranchisement in 1918, novelist and broadcaster Bonnie Greer said political life for a woman is still "different, harder, less rewarding, more risky than it is for a man".

Last century's suffragettes are today's women human rights defenders. Convictions of suffragettes were politically motivated and bore no relation to the acts committed.

"We're talking about a period where a significant number of women had taken over men's roles in the workplace after they had gone off to fight, and we're talking about a period where women for the first time had been involved with the armed forces, which was a great leap forward".

Rudd told the BBC she was aware of the campaign and "completely understand where it's coming from". These women became known as suffragettes and soon made headlines up and down the country.

Prime Minister Theresa May leaves after attending a church service near her constituency. After being expelled from the group for her part in labour movement causes and socialist beliefs, she founded her own group, the East London Federation for Suffragettes.

Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP, the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP First Minister of Scotland, also paid tribute to Suffragist and Suffragette campaigners.

Backbencher Jess Phillips said she would be thinking of murdered MP Jo Cox on the centenary, and revealed she sang a pro-suffragette song with colleague Anna Turley as they walked "arm in arm" to her memorial.

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