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The campaign for the right to vote

The modern campaign to secure the right to vote for women began in the mid-19th century.

This aim was partially achieved with the Representation of the People Act 1918, which allowed some women over the age of 30 to vote in national elections.

The Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act followed later the same year and allowed women to stand as Members of Parliament.

It was not until the Equal Franchise Act was passed in 1928 that women won the same voting rights as men.

Those campaigning peacefully for women's suffrage were called suffragists. From the early 20th century some women who pursued militant methods of campaigning were known by the initially derogatory term 'suffragettes', a description first used by the Daily Mail in 1906.

However, the term was adopted by women themselves and became widely used.

Right to vote

Women felt they should have the right to vote for many reasons, particularly because they had to pay taxes and abide by the law, just as men did. They believed they had an equal right to influence Parliament and government by voting.

External links

Find out more about the suffragettes on these external websites

Also within Living Heritage