Emmeline Pankhurst By Olivia Nelson Background Emmeline was born on the 15th of July 1858 She was the oldest girl of 10 children. Her father, Robert Goulden was a successful business man with strong political beliefs. He took part in campaigns against slavery. Her mother Jane was a feminist and began taking Emily to meetings when she was very young. Early Years Emmeline was described as very intelligent and was able to read at age 3 Emmeline’s father said "What a pity she wasn't born a lad.“ This made Emily angry as her father felt education was important for her brothers, but sent her sisters and her to a boarding school that mainly taught skills that would enable them to become good wives. By aged 15, Emmeline convinced her parents to send her to a modern women's school in Paris. When she returned five years later, she could speak French and had learned not only sewing and embroidery, but chemistry and bookkeeping. Marriage and Family At age 21 Emmeline married Richard Pankhurst who was over 40 They had five children, 3 girls and 2 boys. In 1898, Emmeline became a widow at age 40 and discovered her husband had left her with lots of bills. At this time women were not given the same benefit or pension as a man whose wife died. This made Emmeline Pankhurst decide to fight for votes for women because she knew they would never be treated fairly unless they gained some say over the law. Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU). In October 1903, Emmeline founded the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU). Their motto was "Votes for Women,“ and only women could join. Protest and Prison In February 1906, Emmeline staged a women's suffragette rally in London. 400 women took part and marched to the House of Commons. This showed that more women would fight for the right to vote. In March 1912, Emmeline led a group of women to throw stones at 10 Downing Street. They then travelled along streets of London and smashed department store windows with hammers. She was sent to jail for 9 months and took part in a hunger-strike in protest. The War 4th August, 1914, England declared war on Germany. On the 10th August the government released all suffragettes from prison. In return, the WSPU agreed to end their fight and help with the war. At the time she said: “What is the use of fighting for a vote if we have not got a country to vote in?” The War In 1917 Emmeline and her daughter formed the Woman’s Party and demanded "equal pay for equal work, equality of rights and opportunities in public service, maternity benefits and fairer marriage laws." During the war women worked in factories and did jobs of men such as bus drivers and postmen. This change helped women’s rights and in 1918, women over the age of 30 were given the vote. Death and Victory Emmeline died on 14 June 1928, Shortly after on 2 July, 1928, women were granted equal voting rights with men.