100 YEARS SINCE THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT (1918)
WORKING-CLASS WOMEN WINNING THE VOTE
Despite the focus on the Pankhursts, working-class campaigners were always central to women over 30 winning the vote in 1918 (and all women over 21 in 1928).
In Manchester and the cotton towns of Lancashire, radical suffragists led the way. As early as 1901, a Petition was presented to Parliament signed by no fewer than 29,000 women who worked in the Lancashire cotton mills. Distanced from the Pankhursts’ suffragette militancy, they worked through Mrs Fawcett’s suffragist National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies.
In Yorkshire, the story was different. Working-class women were inspired by the Pankhursts’ oratory. They became suffragettes, joined the Women’s Social and Political Union and went to prison.
Both suffragettes and suffragists redoubled their efforts in 1913-14 ~ and eventually saw victory in 1918 and 1928.
About Jill: I am a writer and historian. My main research interest lies with women's history ~ most especially the Votes for Women story. I've always been fascinated by discovering the history of forgotten suffragists and suffragettes, wherever they lived. Indeed, 'Votes for Women - everywhere!'
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