Birmingham and the Equal Franchise

Newspaper cutting discussing Birmingham and the equal franchise

The 1918 Representation of the People Act and the Equal Franchise Act of 1928 brought equal voting rights to the women of Birmingham.

Following the outbreak of the First World War in the summer of 1914, Emmeline Pankhurst, the leader of the Women's Social and Political Union, brought its militant actions to an end.  She concentrated instead on helping women become involved with the country's war effort.  To find out more, please visit the Living Heritage page, suffragettes in wartime.

Once the First World War was over, the Representation of the People Act of 1918 was passed.  This granted the vote to women over the age of 30 who met certain criteria, but only enfranchised around 40% of the female population.  It was not until the Equal Franchise Act of 1928 was passed that women received equal voting rights with men.  The 1928 Act increased the electorate of Birmingham by around a quarter.

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