Thursday, 7 May 2015

Votes for Women! ....Nanna Was A Suffragette

You can't escape the fact that today is polling day in the United Kingdom and a chance for us once again to vote for a Government which no doubt promises us one thing and delivers quite another. 

I'm always quite surprised by the number of apathetic people who don't care, especially the number of women who fall into this category.  A study carried out by the House Of Commons Library showed that 9.1 million women failed to vote in the 2010 General Election.  Our poor Suffragette ancestors will be turning in their graves!

We all know about the Pankhurst's; Mother and daughter; Emmeline & Christabel who founded the WSPU (Women's Social and Political Union). They encouraged their members to enter into hunger strike whilst imprisoned and into what was considered heavy militant tactics including arson, bomb making, attacking politicians, pouring chemicals into mailboxes and general disruption.

No-one knows if Emily Davison meant to kill herself when she threw herself into the path of the King's Horse at the Epsom Derby on 4th June 1913. There is a school of belief that she was trying only to disturb the Derby and attach a scarf to the horse highlighting the WSPU's cause. She had in her possession a ticket to a suffragette dance later that day and a postcard she sent to her sister in France indicating she was going to visit them a few days later.

With the arrival of World War I, the suffragette movement stopped almost overnight. The women put their campaign on hold to unite with the country against the "German Peril".  When the men were called up to fight for their King and Country, the women stepped into their jobs and kept the country going.   By 1918 the Government had no choice but to accept the hard work the women had put into the war effort and allowed women over the age of 30 to vote.  10 years on and the age restriction was lifted and both men and women could vote equally.

I'm not into politics in any way, however I do firmly believe women especially should not waste their right to vote when it was so hard to win. 

Get out there and make your mark!

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