Published: Tue, February 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

United Kingdom will consider pardons for convicted suffragettes

United Kingdom will consider pardons for convicted suffragettes

Although none of us are particularly privy to detailing the exact relationships each woman had with other women, knowing that they existed in the positions they do can empower us to see our own role in society a little bit differently. The metaphor was unambiguous: "Convicts, Lunatics and Women Have No Vote for Parliament".

Members of the WSPU - the Women's Social and Political Union - resorting to hunger strike after fifty years without change.

"We're now taking action on ten times the number of accounts every day compared to the same time a year ago and using new technology to limit account functionality or place suspensions on thousands more abusive accounts", the statement added. A bundle of these posters, delivered to Cambridge, survived to be rediscovered 106 years later in 2016. However, only women who met certain property-related criteria over the age of 30 were allowed to vote.

The Government passed the Representation of the People Act 1918.

Sadly for fellow Suffragette Emily Davison, she never got to see her dreams of women at the ballot box in her lifetime.

The daughter of a deposed Indian Maharaja whose kingdom was annexed by the British before he was exiled to England, Sophia was Queen Victoria's goddaughter as well as being a committed suffragette. They will help girls to learn more about the suffragettes. In 1911, she was among women protesting at Downing Street as then-prime minister Herbert Asquith left for the king's speech to parliament.

Ten years later, the age limit was lowered and the law changed to ensure women had the same rights as men.

But 21st-century feminists should not be dissuaded, she added, as there are "many parallels" with women's campaigns today.

Women's suffrage in Gulf States have lagged behind the rest of the world, with Oman the first to loosen the law in 1994, followed by Qatar in 1999. In 2015, the country's partly-elected local councils allowed women to vote (and run) for the very first time.

Flora Drummond left. giving instructions to suffragettes dressed as prisoners in 1908
Flora Drummond left giving instructions to suffragettes dressed as prisoners in 1908

Like the UK, Austria and Germany also first gave way to women's suffrage in 1918.

There is a misconception that women's suffrage is the monopoly of western liberal democracies and that Muslim countries lag behind.

In 1948 the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Article 21 stated: "Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives".

Undoubtedly, there's much to do but as the 2018 celebrations kick-off, I hope women take inspiration from those who came before.

GIRLGUIDING Sam Morgan and her daughter Carenza.

This past year has been a harrowing time for equality with the #metoo and #timesup movements highlighting grave injustices against women.

Women today play a crucial role in Malaysian politics and are the backbone of Umno, the main component of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.

In Saudi Arabia, there is no suffrage per se because there are no parliamentary elections, and members of the Shoura are appointed by the king.

The Representation of the People Act, which went into force on February 6, 1918, extended voting rights to all men over 21 and women over 30 who owned property or were graduates voting in a "university constituency".


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