“We too often bind ourselves by authorities rather than by truth.” -Lucretia Mott
To go against the grain, take a stand, be outspoken, and make a notable difference requires courage and confidence. The women who boldly fought during the suffrage movement had all of those characteristics.
Learning about historical heroes such as the suffragists and suffragettes inspires all to make a change in their lives no matter how small or insignificant it may be.
Therefore, without further ado, in today’s article, all interested readers can learn about one of the most significant movements in human history that affected the UK and other regions positively: women’s suffrage.
The suffragists were forceful and passionate yet respectful. (Source: BBC)
When a pupil decides to study more about equality for women and the suffrage movement around the world, there are two distinct but similar sounding words that come up: suffragist and suffragette.
Those previously mentioned words sound the exact same, therefore; what is the difference between a suffragette and suffragist?
To better understand the terminology used in the suffrage era, it is essential to have a slight understanding of the turbulent time it was for women in the late 1800s and early 1900s. During the period known as the suffrage change, women across the United States, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Europe were fighting for the right to vote.
Many united women created groups to rally other women together and brainstorm strategies that would eventually result in women’s equality.
Early hell-raisers, as male government officials would like to call them, were known as suffragists. The suffragists fought hard and long to raise awareness for women’s rights all over England, Ireland, and Wales. Although early suffragists never achieved their goals in gaining the right to vote, their respectful yet forceful campaigns have inspired women for decades.
The suffragists gained many supporters which lead to other groups such as the well-known Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). The WSPU was initially led by Emmeline Pankhurst who influenced her followers, known as the suffragettes, to develop more aggressive methods to gain the attention of government officials.
The suffragettes and WSPU’s motto in 1905 was “deeds over words.”
The suffragettes are well-known in history as being persons who wanted to be heard and have their well-deserved petitions become a reality. Recognised as being more militant, the suffragettes were involved in events such as chaining themselves to railings or fences, disrupting public meetings, and vandalising property owned by the state.
The extremist efforts of the suffragettes led to all women over the age of 21 receiving the right to vote.
Therefore, before concluding this section, it is important to state that the main difference between suffragists and suffragettes lies in their approach to addressing serious women’s rights. The suffragists were more peaceful while the suffragettes were infamous for being hostile. However, their purpose was the same: garnering the right to vote for women.
There have been fascinating moments in history that have shaped the contemporary world and the women’s suffrage movement is no different.
While the dates of the start of the suffrage movement may differ according to each country and historian, in the United States the women’s suffrage movement was thought to have started in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848 when the first women’s rights convention was held. Nevertheless, according to British sources, in 1832, Mary Smith petitioned an MP to have a voice in the elections of parliament.
The women who pioneered the women’s suffrage movement were strong-willed, determined, and eager to see better conditions for women politically.
It is important to mention that women’s suffrage movement has been credited as being the “most significant achievement of women in the progressive era.”
Equal rights for women was necessary since the beginning of time. For example, the right to vote is a fundamental privilege owed to every citizen for various reasons such as the fact that it increases civic consciousness and cooperation and acceptance of laws and policies.
While many determined women tried to attain the right to vote in the Second Reform Bill when working-class men achieved their rights to voting, it was not until 1918 that married women over the age of 30 were permitted to vote in elections.
How was voting for women granted in Great Britain?
Women from distinct walks of life known as the suffragists and suffragettes fought hard to guarantee women’s right to vote and there were many other achievements for women during this era.
For example, as a result of the positive press during the women’s suffrage movement, females began to attend further education courses and attain degrees in previously male-dominated sectors such as health sciences, law, and business. Also, women were starting to earn more money than before in many professional sectors.
Also, it is important to state that although the women’s suffragette movement predominantly occurred in specific areas of the world such as Europe, North America, and Oceania, there have been suffrage changes and campaigns all over our planet. The following are some interesting facts about the worldwide women’s suffrage movement:
Learning about the suffrage movement and how the right to vote was fought encourages all to take fuller advantage of their rights as citizens.
The right to vote is a basic human right owed to all people no matter the gender or race. (Source: Bloomsbury Policy Group)
Since women fought so hard to receive justice and equal voting rights in the UK during the suffrage era, there are so many noteworthy victories that can be observed. Nevertheless, it is best for suffrage movements to be divided between specific periods; therefore, we will consider important events from the 19th century and the 20th century.
The following are the best moments of the suffrage movement in the 19th century:
The 20th century was when the most significant moments of the women’s suffrage movement took place. The subsequent events are worthy of study and celebration:
Emmeline Pankhurst was a fierce and powerful advocate for the woman’s suffrage movement. (Source: The Independent)
Women all over the world make a difference each day by their nurturing hands, vibrant exuberance, determination, and long-suffering. Nevertheless, there are some women who have dedicated their lives to advocating change.
Fantastic females such as Maya Angelou, Queen Elizabeth I, Rosa Parks, Anne Frank, and Mother Theresa are role models for young girls who seek excellence.
Without further ado, the following are some of the most important women who dominated the social scene in England during the suffrage movement:
Many women made the suffrage movement of primary importance in their life. Learning about how all can make a difference inspires young girls and boys all over the world to do what is right no matter the consequences.