Landmark Years for Women’s Rights
|Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) founded|
|Liberal Party win landslide general election victory. Suffragettes expected much from the party.|
|Women admitted to all aspects of local government employment.|
First WSPU newspaper founded
Women’s Freedom League founded – a breakaway group from the WSPU founded by Charlotte Despard.
|Herbert Asquith takes over from Campbell-Bannerman as Prime Minister. Asquith was known to be hostile to female suffrage.|
First instances of window smashing and hunger strikes following arrests.
|Militant Suffragettes announced a truce regarding violent action to allow the Liberal Party time to announce some sort of acceptable policy regarding female suffrage.|
A Conciliation Bill which would have given women with property the right to vote was lost. This led to ‘Black Friday’.
Women were allowed to take exams to be chartered accountants.
|A second Conciliation Bill was shelved.|
Sylvia Pankhurst, who had not supported her sister Christabel’s approach, founded the East London Federation of Suffragettes. Sylvia wanted a movement to be more inclusive of women from a working class background.
|A third Conciliation Bill was shelved in Parliament. Christabel Pankhurst fled to France.|
|A Prisoner’s Temporary Discharge Act was passed. This took the sting out of the potentially embarrassing hunger strikes by arrested militant Suffragettes.|
|World War One began (August). Suffragettes suspend all actions to support the war effort. Emmeline Pankhurst put patriotism to Britain before what theSuffragettes wanted.|
|The war ended and after highly important work in munitions, farms etc. women expected something in return from the government. The 1918Representation of the People Act gave propertied women over 30 years of age the right to vote. Millicent Fawcett called it the happiest day of her life when the act was passed.|
|The legal profession was opened to women.|
|The first female barrister was appointed.|
|Women over 21 were given the right to vote – giving women the same voting status as men|