A Brighter Future

Throughout the 20th century Britain has encountered two World Wars, the fall of an Empire and step forward in the right direction in regards to the shaping of the modern political sphere. Equality of gender in Britain has gradually transformed as a country, however there is still an extensive way to go. Here are two questions to think about ;

1)How effective were the marches, protests and militant actions of the Suffrage Movement?

2)How did the events have an overall impact on the way in which protests occur today?    

Following the devastation of the First World War where 704,803 men from the British Isles were killed, Parliament passed the Representation of the People Act 1918 which allowed a proportion of women to vote in the United Kingdom. However, the criteria to vote was limited. The female voter had to meet property qualifications and over the age of 30. This was the first stages of female voting, nonetheless only 8.5 million women met the conditions which equated to 40 per cent of the women in the U. K[1]. The Act however, was unbalanced in equality as the same Act abolished any restrictions for male voters and even extended the vote to all males over the age of 21, which increased the percentage of voters from 8 million to 21 million. It would still take a further decade in which both men and women received the vote. In 1928 the Equal Franchise Act was passed allowing all women over the age of 21 the right to vote. The arduous journey that thousands of women took for the right of equality finally was accomplished. To the women and men who devoted their lives and service to advance the opportunity of equality gratitude was paid with this final Act of Parliament.

The sheer determination of the Suffrage movement has paved the way for causes throughout the 20th century towards the battle of equality. In Britain many Rights Movements have gained recognition through the use of protests and marches.There is a vast range of activist groups in Britain that have adopted the use of marches and public demonstration to create awareness just as the Suffrage Movement did. Ranging from human rights, civil rights, women’s rights to political rights, each movement owes a debt of gratitude to the women of the Suffrage Movement.

One movement in particular that has shared in persecution and discrimination is the LGBT Lesbian Gay Bi Transgender community. The active demonstration for equality has campaigned since the 1950s through the medium of public meetings and marches. In 1967 a law was passed decriminalising the act of Homosexuality, however hostilities still remained.In 1972 a march was organised in the city of London to demonstrate for the equality of sexual identity, this was to become an annual event that promote equality between genders and against persecution and discrimination.      


In 1972 a march was organised in the city of London to demonstrate for the equality of sexual identity, this was to become an annual event that promote equality between genders and against persecution and discrimination. With the powerful medium of marches and protests, the LGBT Rights group has achieved an overwhelming leap towards equality.















[1] Women get the vote – http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/electionsvoting/womenvote/overview/thevote/ Last accessed 13.04.2016



Books Used and Consulted

Cowman, K. “Women in British Politics, C.1689-1979’ Palgrave Macmillan, (2010)

Garner, L. “Stepping stones to Women’s Liberty” Heinemann Educational Books Ltd, (1984)

Nym Mayhall, L. “The Militant Suffrage Movement: Citizenship and Resistance in Britain, 1860-1”30″ Oxford University Press, (2003)

Pankhurst, E. ”My Own Story” Source Book Press, (1914)

Rosen, A. “Rise Up Women” Routledge &Kegan Paul, London (1974)

Wingerden, S.A ,” The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Britain, 1866-1928” Palgrave Macmillan, (1990)

University of Kansas, History (2008). (Per)forming Female Politics: The Making of the ‘modern Woman’ in London, 1890–1914. USA: ProQuest


Historical ResearchVolume 83, Issue 222, Article first published online: 25 JUN 2009 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-2281.2009.00507.x/pdf last accessed 14.04.2016



Women get the vote – http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/electionsvoting/womenvote/overview/thevote/  last accessed 14.04.2016

Briony Paxman and Clare Horrie “Emily Davison and the 1913 Epsom Derby” The National Archives 2013  (catalogue ref: MEPO 2/1551) http://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/blog/emily-davison-and-the-1913-epsom-derby/ last accessed 13.04.2016

National Library of Australia http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/10781916 last accessed 13.04.2016

Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XXXX, Issue 1806, 5 May 1913, Page 3-http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=PBH19130505.2.34 – Last accessed 13.04.2016

Exploring 20th Century London, 2015 ‘Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) [online] available at http://www.20thcenturylondon.org.uk/women-social-and-political-union last accessed 14.04.2016

Newspapers Used

Daily Chronicle, 22nd June 1908, The Times, 22nd June 1908




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