The political forces ranged against the suffragettes show us just how brave they were | News


 The Times

Today hordes of MPs from across the political spectrum are poised to gather in Westminster Hall to celebrate the centenary of British women first winning the vote. It is the first of a long series of events commemorating the Representation of the People Act 1918.

Female enfranchisement was not always such a mainstream and popular political proposal. To the contrary: none of the three major parties formally supported the idea for years after the dawn of the twentieth century. The Votes for Women movement came up time and again against the forces of opposition and inertia in parliament.

The Liberal party, which was in government from 1905 to 1922, was initially wary on the grounds that extending the vote to women on a property qualification…

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