The Effects Of World War One On British Women

1551 words - 6 pages

The Effects of World War One on British Women “Without The First World War British Women Would Not Have Gained The
Right To Vote In 1918”

I disagree with the statement that, if it were not for the War, women
would never have gained the right to vote.

Between 1900 and 1914 the many Female movements applied a vast amount
of pressure on the Government. Making British women’s suffrage
inevitability rather than a possibility. The reason why they did
achieve the vote in 1918 was not because of the Suffragette or
Suffragist movements, neither was it solely because of the female
involvement in the War. Rather that it is unjustifiable to not allow
someone mentally capable a say in politics, when politics affects
their way of life.

Many who argued against women being allowed suffrage were
Politicians, for example Source C: An argument against votes for
women, from a speech made in 1912 by Lord Curzon, a Conservative
leader. “Women do not have the experience to be able to vote. But
there are other problems as well: the way women have been educated,
their lack of strength, and the duties they have. If women did gain
the vote, it would mean that most voters would be women. What would be
the effects of this on the Government?” These were the general lines
of argument that opposing members of Female suffrage used. If
anything, politicians feared the possible implications Women having
the vote would have.

Source A: The importance of the vote. From a speech made by Emmeline
Pankhurst in March 1908, Emmeline Pankhurst was the leader of the
militant Suffragette movement. “It is important that women should have
the vote so that, in the Government of the country, the women’s point
of view can be put forward.” The supporters of Women’s suffrage argued
that it was unfair not to allow women the vote. Obtaining the vote was
part of Women’s striving for equality in modern society. Ultimately
the vote was the most important, as it allowed women the right to vote
on other forms of equality, such as wage rights and custodial rights.

Due to the outbreak of War there was a truce between the Suffragettes
and Government, and with the help of many female reformists like
Pankhurst and Annie Kennie, the movement leaders rallied their
followers and other women to aid in the war effort. ’What would be the
good of the vote without a country to vote in.’

”The answer was that the country was our country. It belonged to us
and not to the Government, and we had the right and privilege, as well
as the duty, to serve and defend...

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