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Votes for women


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GCSE OCR Modern World History revision presentation - What you need to know about the campaign for women to win the vote for your Paper 2 exam

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Votes for women

  1. 1. Votes for women,Votes for women, 1900-19181900-1918
  2. 2. What is the message of this poster?
  3. 3. The status of women before 1900 … Before 1870 most working-class girls did not go to school, their duty was to obey their husband and do everything to make sure his life was as easy as possible. Any girl’s education reinforced this view Occupations open to women were mainly menial – domestic servants, small workshops, sewing, textile factories, working at home By the start of the 20th C, other opportunities were opening up for women …
  4. 4. Further work opportunities … Jobs in shops, as typists, on telephone switchboards but … Hours were long (as much as 80 per week) Women often had to leave if they got married Women were often paid a great deal less than men doing similar jobs
  5. 5. New employment opportunities were opening up for middle-class women, who may have at least had some education at home, or been lucky enough to have had some schooling … discrimination was still possible In 1870s Sophia Jex-Blake completed a medical degree at Edinburgh University, but was refused her degree ! Her case caused some Universities to change their attitude to women – Oxford and Cambridge opened Women’s colleges, there were also some teacher training colleges opened … Teaching – female teachers had to be single Nursing – but had to resign when they married Clerical work - answering telephones and typing …
  6. 6. In marriages, women were in a very inferior position to their husbands … Before 1900 - when they married all their property went to their husbands; even they became their husband’s property ! Wives were often treated with violence and assaulted by husbands Women could not start divorce proceedings By 1900 women could bring divorce cases against their husbands for cruelty, desertion and bigamy They could keep their own property after marriage Women could leave the marital home voluntarily if in danger
  7. 7. But, some things did not change… Wife-battering and marital sexual assaults were still legal Husbands could divorce wives for adultery, but wives would have to prove violence or cruelty in similar cases If a divorce occurred, a mother would lose her rights over her children
  8. 8. Summary … Women were stopped from entering many professions, despite the improvement in their educational position by 1900 Women were still regarded as inferior to men The law was still biased in favour of men The pace of social change was slow
  9. 9. Change was finally on the way … In the 19th Century, women had not been allowed to vote in parliamentary elections, or be MPs By 1900 ‘votes for women’ was becoming an important issue, and arguments were being advanced for and against the idea Two groups campaigned for votes – the NUWSS (National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies) and the WSPU (Women’s Social and Political Union)
  10. 10. Focus … on the NUWSS Founded in 1897 by Millicent Fawcett Brought together a series of disparate groups, all with the same objective By 1914, over 400 branches all over the country, over 100000 members Democratic organisation which used peaceful means such as discussion and persuasion Members were mainly middle-class and working- class, and some men were allowed to join
  11. 11. Focus … on the WSPU Founded by Emmeline Pankhurst and her two daughters Christabel and Sylvia in 1903 Branches all over the country, but this was not a democratic organisation – it was closely controlled by the Pankhursts Formed because they were impatient with the peaceful, and slow methods of the NUWSS Often used violent and abusive methods, many members went to prison for their actions Men were not allowed to join; members were mainly middle and upper-class women
  12. 12. Arguments supporting votes for women … The vote is the way to get rid of other inequalities The vote will improve men’s moral and sexual behaviour Women are capable of being involved in politics There have been many changes in women’s roles Look at what is happening in other countries Voting is a ‘right’ to which women are entitled Britain is not a true democracy until women have the vote
  13. 13. Arguments opposing votes for women … Women and men have ‘separate spheres’ Most women do not want the vote ‘A woman’s role is in local affairs’ Women are already represented by their husbands It is dangerous to change a system that works Women do not fight to defend their country
  14. 14. Methods used to win the vote … Propaganda – the WSPU published a newspaper called Votes for Women – circulation of 40,000 by 1914 Pin badges, belts, jewellery Posters, leaflets, postcards Meetings and demonstrations all over Britain, some attracted 20,000 women Lobbying Parliament – petitions and letters - in 1910 one gained over 250,000 signatures Civil disobedience – refusal to pay taxes etc Attacking property – window smashing, arson, bombs, works of art in galleries, telegraph lines were cut, recreational parks were vandalised
  15. 15. Methods used to win the vote … Attacks on prominent people – doctors who force- fed suffragettes in prison Axe thrown at the Prime Minister Heckling politicians at meetings Disrupting political meetings with publicity stunts such as abseiling into a Liberal Party meeting Hunger strikes – began in 1909 as a way of forcing the authorities to recognise suffragettes prisoners as political prisoners The authorities decided to force-feed some of them. Some suffragettes barricaded themselves in their cells to avoid this The government hit back with the ‘Cat and Mouse Act’
  16. 16. How did women win the vote ? By 1916 many men who were eligible to vote had lost that right as they were out of the country for more than a year The NUWSS put pressure on the government to consider giving women the vote In 1917 the House of Commons voted by 385-55 that women should have the vote. In February 1918 the Bill became law
  17. 17. What did the Bill say ? The Bill said that … women over the age of 30 could have the vote Women over 30 could become MPs All men over 21 were given the vote Out of an electorate of 21 million, some 8 million were now women, though there was still no proper equality … it was believed that younger women might not be responsible enough to exercise their vote, and the government was worried in case there were more women voters than men …
  19. 19. Key pointsKey points The shell shortage crisis in 1915The shell shortage crisis in 1915 began to change the situation.began to change the situation. Women were taken on to work inWomen were taken on to work in munitions factories. The governmentmunitions factories. The government did a deal with the trade unions,did a deal with the trade unions, known as the Treasury Agreements.known as the Treasury Agreements. The unions agreed to accept femaleThe unions agreed to accept female labour in place of menlabour in place of men ‘for the‘for the duration of the war’duration of the war’..
  20. 20. Key pointsKey points The introduction of conscription inThe introduction of conscription in 1916 led to an increase in the1916 led to an increase in the number of women employed in allnumber of women employed in all sectors of the economy.sectors of the economy.
  21. 21. Key pointsKey points Many women were paid good wages,Many women were paid good wages, especially in munitions factories, butespecially in munitions factories, but in most cases they were paid lowerin most cases they were paid lower rates than men.rates than men. Improved wages did permit greaterImproved wages did permit greater independence for some women.independence for some women.
  22. 22. Key pointsKey points Women became more visible in theWomen became more visible in the world of work. They were seen to beworld of work. They were seen to be doing important jobs.doing important jobs.
  23. 23. Key pointsKey points The armed forces also employedThe armed forces also employed women, but the jobs were mainly ofwomen, but the jobs were mainly of a clerical and domestic nature.a clerical and domestic nature.
  24. 24. After the WarAfter the War 11 Women were expected to give way to men returningWomen were expected to give way to men returning from the forces and return to pre-war ‘women’sfrom the forces and return to pre-war ‘women’s work’.work’. 22 The assumption that ‘a woman’s place is in the home’The assumption that ‘a woman’s place is in the home’ returned.returned. 33 The percentage of women at work returned to pre-The percentage of women at work returned to pre- war levels.war levels. 44 More women than before worked in offices.More women than before worked in offices.
  25. 25. After the WarAfter the War 55 Shorter skirts and hair became fashionable.Shorter skirts and hair became fashionable. 66 Women went out with men without a chaperone.Women went out with men without a chaperone. 77 Women smoked and wore make-up in public for theWomen smoked and wore make-up in public for the first time.first time. 88 In 1919: being female or married was no longerIn 1919: being female or married was no longer allowed to disqualify someone from holding a job inallowed to disqualify someone from holding a job in the professions or civil service.the professions or civil service. •
  26. 26. USE THE SOURCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!