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tinyfav.com February 20, 2018


New stamps to mark anniversary of women's right to vote

07 February 2018, 01:28 | Myrtle Vega

Image Men and women campaigning at a suffragette meeting in London's Hyde Park

Men and women campaigning at a suffragette meeting in London's Hyde Park

The Government is now facing calls to overturn the convictions of female activists jailed for their activities before the implementation of the Representation of the People Act 100 years ago, which granted the right to vote to some women.

Richard High, who works in the Special Collections department at University of Leeds, with the Votes For Women magazine.

However over the next ten years laws were introduced that eliminated women's rights from serving on juries, working after marriage, and working in industry.

It is hard to think of a more inappropriate way to mark that moment than by the government reaching back into the past and taking away from the suffragettes their ability to use the law to highlight the injustice that they were fighting.

"It is complicated because if you're going to give a legal pardon for things like arson and violence, it's not as straightforward as people think it might be", Rudd said.

With the passing of the Representation of the People Act in 1918, the suffragettes were successful in gaining some women aged 30 and over the right to vote - only 40% of women were initially granted the vote.

Former leader of the Scottish Labour Party Kezia Dugdale believes that now the anniversary is upon us, it's time to start reshifting the focus on the Suffragist movement to include more women.

"I have seen this campaign, I completely understand where it's coming from, the extraordinary pained campaign, violence that these women went through in order to deliver the vote, which has been of such benefit to us for generations", she said.

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In fact, there is probably a courageous woman human rights defender living at your doorstep.

However, as I began to research the topic more and read fist-hand biographies from the women who lived through the suffrage movement, I felt ashamed as to how little I knew. Convictions of suffragettes were politically motivated and bore no relation to the acts committed.

Asked earlier by the BBC what she would say to the critics: "I put a much greater focus on not what you say but on what you do, and I guess that is another difference perhaps between women sometimes and men".

In Europe, Finland became the first European country to introduce women's suffrage in 1906.

She was arrested several times and after being convicted of conspiracy to commit property damage, she used a common suffragist prison tactic - a hunger strike - to secure better conditions for her fellow 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. But since losing her Conservatives' majority in parliament in an ill-judged election in June, her leadership has been questioned.

And Labour is holding its shadow cabinet meeting at the Museum of London, where a large "Votes for Women" exhibition has just opened.

She said attitudes were also changing among men, particularly those who would have previously dismissed "feminist" arguments.

"Membership was possible for all women and from all social classes", which helped in building momentum, she said.



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