Women's vote: Rudd claims pardoning suffragettes is "complicated"

Randolph Lopez
February 7, 2018

She noted major advances in the rights of women and other minorities since 1918, but warned of a new tone of "bitterness and agression" in public debate.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has identified contemporary online trolling and intimidation of prominent women as a threat to the legacy of the campaign that gave British women the right to vote.

Campaigners meanwhile hope to make fresh calls for Suffragettes who were jailed while fighting to win the vote for women to be pardoned posthumously.

In 1928, under the Equal Franchise Act, women in the United Kingdom were granted equal voting rights, increasing the number of eligible female voters from 8 million to 15 million.

However over the next ten years laws were introduced that eliminated women's rights from serving on juries, working after marriage, and working in industry.

He added: "Labour in government will both pardon the suffragettes and give an official apology for the miscarriages of justice and wider persecution they suffered".

In a speech in the northern English city of Manchester, the birthplace and home of the British suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, May will announce government measures meant to make sure social media firms are stamping out offensive content.

The WSPU was a women-only group dedicated to practical activism dedicated to obtaining equal votes for women.

This morning on Radio 4's Today programme, home secretary Amber Rudd was asked whether the Conservatives would be prepared to overturn the protestors' convictions.

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100 years ago today the Representation of the People Act 1918 was passed, the piece of legislation that gave some women the vote.

In a speech in Manchester - the birthplace of Suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst - May will honour the women who "transformed British democracy".

Britain's suffragist movement emerged in the late 19th century, when Parliament extended the franchise to greater swaths of the male population while continuing to deny it to women.

But it was not obtained without a struggle, and campaigners have made a fresh call for posthumous pardons for the women who used violence to advance their cause.

Meanwhile, the Scottish leader, Nicola Sturgeon, announced a half a $700,000 fund to encourage more women to enter politics.

On Wednesday 6 February, 1918, women were first able to vote in this country after women fought tirelessly to have equality within the voting system. Convictions of suffragettes were politically motivated and bore no relation to the acts committed.

Every time these women have spoken up, set up a petition, sent a letter to their MP, set up a local campaigning group or marched for rights, they've taken steps towards making life better for others.

A number of the examples in her collection still have original writing on the back, many of which don't explicitly refer to the image on the front.

Fear of such attacks prompted museums to request women leave their bags and coats in cloakrooms, to stop activists concealing weapons, but a century on the Suffragettes have themselves become exhibition subjects.

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