Women's Right To Vote Due To Their Contribution To The War Effort

2240 words - 9 pages

Women's Right to Vote due to Their Contribution to the War Effort

In 1918 a major milestone was reached in the fight for women's
equality rights, this was women being granted suffrage by the
government. During the physical endurance of the four years of the
war, women proving themselves equal to men, they were rewarded the
vote. The Electoral Reform bill was passed which granted voting rights
to all female property owners over 30. Some historians say women were
never given the vote; it was hard fought for and won. Many historians
believe the war to be a turning point because not only did it seal
women's victory over the government it secured their status in society
as an equivalent to men. Women's emancipation came in three stages:
the first was the long campaign of propaganda and organisation led by
the dame Millicent Fawcett, the second was militant campaign of the
suffragettes, and the third was the war. Had there been no war, the
emancipation would have come, although more slowly. Therefore the war
was not the most significant factor which led to the franchise. Other
factors were far more important, such as the suffrage movement and
other reasons. Thus the war was a catalyst in which eventually the
government was forced to give women the vote. The suffrage movement
was far more superior in gaining the vote for women because it led the
way for the emancipation.

In the 1900's the philosophy of separate spheres was so strong it
dictated how women were treated. Women were seen as the underlings,
the inferior sex in society. Their domestic sphere was a cultural
expression of the female world a way of living. The overall role and
position of women revolved around the centre of the family, motherhood
and respectability. Women had no time for leisure as they were slaves
to there domestic lives. Most girls did not get an education. Married
women's duty was to obey her husband. There was no occupations open to
women other than menial work, such as maids and cleaners. Women wanted
to escape the stereotyped image of women and create a new identity,
where women have freedom socially, politically and economically and
equal rights. Hence these were the beginning stages of women's
suffrage when women realized their diminutive power legally and image
in society where they were denied economic and social independence.
Progressively women were forming groups that campaigned for women's
rights. There were over 500 different branches campaigning solely for
liberation.

A woman called Millicent Fawcett brought together the chain of
disparate groups, uniting them under one front. Therefore becoming
politically stronger and gaining crucial recognition. In 1897
Millicent Fawcett formed the National Union of Women's Suffrage, and
took on the role as leader and leading icon for women. Members of the...

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