Women over 30 gained the vote in 1918 mainly because of women’s war effort

There are many factors which had got women over 30 their right to vote. One factor was the war effort which is said to be the ‘turning point’. Another factor was the Suffragists and Suffragettes and the campaign they had started. The third factor was the outside pressure received by colonies (New Zealand, Canada and Australia). The last major factor of women getting the right to vote was the political changes which suited the government. One way in which the war helped women get the vote was by actually driving the men out of the country.

This gave women the chance to take a man’s role, going to work and coming home ‘after a hard day’s work’. When the war broke out in 1914 Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst stopped the campaigning against the government and put 100% effort behind the war effort. Many women felt strongly about it and also backed the war up by sending their husbands or boyfriends of to war. Another way in which the war helped was by giving women a job and opportunity to show men that they aren’t hopeless they can do the same jobs as men, so why shouldn’t women get to vote? Suffragists and Suffragettes helped some women finally get the vote.

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One way in which they did was because they started a campaign to introduce all women. They got all of the women’s confidence rolling so they had the confidence to go on marches and express their beliefs and anger towards the whole situation. They changed the women’s as well as the men’s attitudes to the voting system. The Suffragists believed in a peaceful campaign whereas Suffragettes believed in a violent campaign, however they both stopped their campaigns and worked together to back up the war effort. Outside pressures was a significant factor of getting the vote.

The reason why I say this is because New Zealand, Australia and the best country in the world (Canada) were Britain’s colonies and they over passed the law of women having the right to vote. If the colonies were ahead of Britain that would make the country and government feel very embarrassed. The embarrassment must of taken over and help speed on the process. The government and politicians played a part in this of course as they were the ones to change the law. They gave women the vote but only for women over 30 as they know women over thirty would be married or in a serious relationship.

If they have a husband they will vote the same way in which their husbands do so women over thirty wouldn’t bring any real threat to changing the country. In my opinion I think that the Suffragists ; Suffragettes played the biggest role in giving women the vote. The war effort was the second most important factor for me, then outside factors and finally government and political changes. The reasons for my choices were very simple yet effective. Personally I feel that the chronological order is the correct order of importance.

If the Suffragettes and Suffragists never started the campaign would women have the confidence to protest to get to vote? I think not! Women needed that extra push to get the message through that we as women should have the right to vote and that men are no better. The campaign rounded all the women together, but when war broke out they stopped campaigning and went behind the war effort. The war effort was the second most important factor in my personal opinion as it showed the politicians and men that women are as hard working as men so they also have the ability to work and do other things that men do.

It didn’t only show men but it also showed women what the working lifestyle is like. If they enjoyed going out to work and making new friends there of course they are going to want to give women the chance to vote so maybe in the future they will get to work permanently instead of staying at home and being ‘a good housewife’. The most important reason why I have chosen Suffragists and Suffragettes to be more important then War effort to get women their vote was because Women munitions war workers, who were generally younger then 30, were excluded from the Representation of the People’s Act 1918.

They were still dis-enfranchised (deprived, generally vote) and denied the vote. So women under 30 were working in factories yet women of 30 were legitimate to vote, how could it of been the war effort? Some people believed that the fear of the suffragettes returning to a militant campaign after 1918, if their claims were not met, was the real reason why women were given the vote.

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