Suffragettes versus Suffragists

Activity 3 handout 1 - Suffragettes versus Suffragists
There were two main groups that campaigned for female suffrage. The N.U.W.S.S. and the W.S.P.U. The
differences are listed below.
Emmeline Pankhurst
Millicent Fawcett
Women’s Social and Political Union. (W.S.P.U) National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. (N.U.W.S.S)
Leader? Emmeline Pankhurst, and her daughters,
Christabel and Sylvia.
Milicent Fawcett.
This was a breakaway movement formed in
1903 by the Pankhursts who were frustrated
by the lack of progress achieved by the
This was founded in 1897 to unite most of the existing suffrage
societies that had sprung up over the nineteenth century. Some
cities had many of these, and the aim of the groups was to
extend women’s political rights.
Tactics Militant, violent and confrontational, often
illegal and involving public disorder.
Moderate, peaceful persuasion and constitutional.
To expand the rights of women and to improve social
To achieve the same political rights for
women as there were for men.
Although they seemed less active than the W.S.P.U., the
N.U.W.S.S. were active in trying to convert public opinion.
Unlike the Suffragettes, Suffragists welcomed male members
in an effort to convince more men to their point of view.
"Deeds, not words!"
Restricted members of W.S.P.U. to
women only
1905 Christabel Pankhurst sent to
prison for spitting and hitting a
policeman at a Liberal meeting.
Their favourite and most effective
peaceful, e.g. reasoned argument, meetings, issuing
leaflets and collecting petitions.
Met with politicians to argue their case.
In elections they supported candidates who were in
favour of female suffrage.
They trained women to speak at public meetings.
in the 1906 elections they put forward male candidates
method was to use megaphones to
heckle speakers at liberal meetings.
to compete with Liberal politicians who were opposed to
female suffrage.
In the beginning, the two groups worked together as a united front, but the violent methods of the W.S.P.U. led
Mrs. Fawcett to withdraw her support for the group, as she felt that this went against the cause.