Tuesday, February 06, 2018


Emmeline Pankhurst
What a day this has been on radio, TV, internet and film celebrating the centenary of the introduction of the Representation of the People Act 1918. ago in the UK, certain women became eligible to vote. and stand for Parliament. Amidst the celebrations, let's not forget those women who were excluded from voting for another ten years, and the women still denied a political voice, even today.  While it is important to recognise that the Act at this time gave only certain privileged women the right to vote - those who were 30-years of age and property-owning - it was a small step in the right direction

The topic of suffragists and suffragettes - and the distinction between the two, makes interesting reading, but our Society of Women Writers and Journalists, founded in 1894 (by a wonderful man) has an interesting archive full of information about some of the brave women who took part in the struggle for emancipation.

As someone who, from 1979-2005  worked at the Palace of Westminster and passed daily through St Stephen's Hall where the doughty women had chained themselves to the statues, I've long had strong feelings linked to that Hall. A few memorable images will shortly be posted on this blog. 

Some of my Russian students wanted to learn when other countries eventually granted women's suffrage. This was in the closing years of the Great War.   Russia, Germany, Canada and Poland also recognised women's right to vote. Propertied British women as described, who were over 30-years-of-age had the vote in 1918, Dutch women in 1919, and American women won the vote on 26 August 1920 with the passage of the 19th Amendment.

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