Corbyn Calls For Suffragettes to Be Pardoned One Hundred Years Later

08 February, 2018, 00:59 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • A statue of Emmeline Pankhurst one of the founders of the British Suffragette Movement outside the Houses of Parliament in London. AFP PIC

It was left to Viscountess Nancy Astor to be the first woman to take her seat in parliament in December 1919 following a by-election victory.

Lady Nancy Astor photographed in Plymouth during a 1919 election.

When did all men get the vote? "This week and in the months and years ahead, as we strive for greater equality, we should remember the women who blazed a trail a century ago, whatever their social background, religion, race or sexuality", she added.

The act exponentially increased the voting numbers as it abolished the property restrictions for men.

"Many of those women were treated appallingly by society and the state". At its peak the NUWSS had more than 50,000 members.

It was a deliberate move into militancy preached by Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) which became known as the Suffragrettes.

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She also arranged a tea party for elderly residents, two of whom were more than 100 years old, sharing their memories of suffrage.

When war arrived in August 1914, campaigners' activities were largely halted.

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Fawcett concentrated much of her energy on the struggle to improve women's opportunities for higher education and in 1875 co-founded Newnham College, Cambridge, one of the first Cambridge colleges to admit women. This followed World War One.

"The prominence of LGBT women in the suffragette movement has often been overlooked, particularly in periods when both society and the law discriminated heavily against LGBT people". A hundred years on from this extension of voting rights, many women MPs seem to have more in common with their white middle-class male colleagues than the women they represent; women who are disproportionately likely to live in poverty, be in insecure and low-paid work, and to head up single parent families.

Later, organisers say the largest ever gathering of Britain's women politicians will take place at a reception to launch Parliament's "Vote 100" campaign.

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Women were allowed to sit in the House of Lords as life peers (who are unable to pass their title on to their children) from 1958, but they could not sit as hereditary peers (those who had inherited their titles) until 1963. The metaphor was unambiguous: "Convicts, Lunatics and Women Have No Vote for Parliament".

It appeared women had travelled from across the country and even as far as Finland to speak. Australia followed suit in 1902, though suffrage was still restricted for indigenous Australians.

In contrast to the early birds of New Zealand and the Isle of Mann, the affluent and modern Switzerland did not introduce votes for women until the second half of the 20 century.

In order to achieve lasting change, women's rights activism has to promote a form of representation that focuses women's multiple voices.

'Voting was a value judgment, not an intrinsic right. Another 10 years would pass before women over 21 were allowed to vote on the same terms as men.

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