How Britain’s Women Fought & Died for the Right to Vote
- Frank Meeres
15th July 2014
A century ago, Britain was caught up in one of the most extraordinary events in the country’s history – the struggle of its women to obtain the right to vote.
While there had been petitions and discussions of the subject throughout the Victorian era, by the beginning of the twentieth century it was time for stronger action.
Centralised organisations formed behind Millicent Fawcett and Emmeline Pankhurst. Protest, marches, civil disobedience and arrests followed as the campaign gained momentum. Women chained themselves to railings, smashed windows, committed arson, and Emily Davison died under the hooves of the king’s horse on Derby Day 1913. The turning point was the First World War. The suffragettes declared an immediate truce when war was announced and their efforts went into this new cause. At the end of the war, women over the age of thirty were granted the vote, and ten years later women were given the right to vote on the same terms as men.