The Reason Behind Women's New Right to Vote in 1918
In 1918 all men got the vote at 21 and all women got the vote at 30.
However, women had to be householders or married to a householder.
It is often said that women were given the vote because of the war.
The war did change the situation in many ways. The obvious effect was
that the women's role in the war was greatly appreciated - other than
the usual criticism towards females. Public opinion gradually grew in
favour of women.
The war helped the participation of women in everyday life to the
nation and proved how able they actually were. Women were driving
vehicles, acting as bus conductors and filling in many jobs that men
may have been working as.
The war generally gave women the chance to prove themselves to the
nation that they could do what men thought they couldn't. Women gained
more self-confidence and men had an increased sense of women's
capability to everyday work.
Women were employed in many industries, such as nurses in the armed
forces, the land army, motor/car industry as mechanics or drivers,
aeroplane industry, many clerical jobs were offered and many began to
work as postal works and on busses as conductresses.
Women working in factories in WWI
The war transformed a political situation, it was obvious that once
the war was over women were going to go straight back to campaigning
over their suffrage. It would have been quite embarrassing and
probably unpopular to imprison women, who had played such an important
role in the war effort. All the work women did must give them the
right to be allowed to share in the politics of their country.
Asquith (PM in 1916) changed his attitude towards women, he claimed:
"women have aided in the most effective way in the prosecution of the