The Campaign to win the vote
The issue of the vote became the
focus of women’s struggle for equality
Women had to fight for themselves
getting little help from men
The Campaign to win the vote
Chartists campaign
earlier was rejected,
debate re-emerged
after 1867 Reform
bill by John Stuart
Mill amendment
Women householders
gained the right to
vote but a further
amendment of the
third reform bill was
also rejected by
Why opposition?
Most Politicians
were against
reform fearing
women would vote
for the opposition
 Labour Party
wanted women
suffrage especially
for working class
women rather than
just property
Why opposition?
Involvement in politics
would threaten the
family and society
Corrupt women making
them less feminine
Too emotional and not
Attitude came From all
social classes
Movement to gain votes: 2 wings
Suffragists traced
roots back to 19th
 Millicent Fawcett was
the leader from 1887
of the NUWSS
 Peaceful persuasion
and education always
within the law
 Suffragists wrote
pamphlets and held
The Suffragists
Exclusively middle class although
acknowledged that support of working class
women was needed
 Gore-Booth sisters worked in the mills of
Lancashire to gain their support
 Many of the working class women however
found themselves to be ‘voices in the
 Although many women were drawn together
as never before, giving them an identity
The Suffragettes
Born out of the
movement in 1903
 Emmeline
Pankhurst broke
away from the
 Named the WSPU
its motto was
‘deeds not words’
The Suffragettes
The suffragettes were prepared to break
the law
 In 1906 politicians, suffragists and
suffragettes met Campbell Bannermann
 He informed them that although he was in
favour of women’s suffrage his cabinet
were divided
The Suffragettes
The suffragist response
was to launch a campaign of
leaflets the suffragettes
on the other hand was to
heckle MP’s, marches,
demonstrations which led
to arrests
In 1907 women broke away
from the WSPU to form
WFL, the Pankhursts
established an even firmer
Militant tactics
By 1909 tactics had become more militant
 Attacks on MPs, broken windows, chaining
themselves to railings outside HOC
 Opposition from press and the public
increased, women were described as
unfeminine, masculine and frustrated
Militant tactics
Despite this by 1909
there was branches all
over, the NUWSS had
13,000 members also
The movements were
growing apart as the
NUWSS believed that
militancy was losing
them supporters
Conciliation Bill and its failure
1910- conciliation
bill was drafted
under Asquith
 Bill was suspended
which resulted in
further campaigns
 Failed in 1912 to
get majority
 WSPU committed
to programme of
Conciliation Bill and its failure
‘wild period’
paintings slashed,
firebombed, death
of Emily Davison
 Hunger strikes
 Did this do more
harm than good?
 Men’s role
Did the coming of war delay the
Asquith recognised that these women had
genuine social grievances which could be
tackled if women had the vote
 In time it was argued that he would have
brought in a bill to provide for universal
 War however scaled down the activities
 Women instead had to fill the jobs left by
the men ‘business as usual’