1918 – A Momentous Year For Women

WhereGreat Broughton Village HallType of EventTalk
WhenMonday 10th September at 7.30 pmTutorJanice Ronsano

1918 was the culmination of over 50 years struggle for women’s rights. John Stuart Mill presented a petition to the House of Commons in 1866 and this started the campaign for Votes for Women. In 1903 WSPU was founded, with its own newspaper Votes for Women. 1905 was the beginning of militancy and by 1908 there were mass demonstrations as “Deeds Not Words” was their motto. 

Locally there were two women who were very active in the suffrage movement. Both were members of the WFL Women’s Freedom League who supported non violent methods. Marion Coates Hanson and her sister-in-law Alice Scholfield organised protest meetings and debates in the Middlesbrough area. Alice debated in Middlesbrough Town Hall against the “National League for opposing Woman Suffrage” of which Gertrude Bell was a key supporter.

Finally the Act passed in 1918  to give those over 30 householders or wives of householders the vote and 8.5 million were added to the electorate.

Women were on local electoral registers for the first time. For example

In Great Broughton 136 were added, in Kirkby 53 and in Battersby and Ingleby 83

Since 1918 there have been 290 female members of parliament

There are 209 women in the present House out of 650. 100th anniversary makes people reflect and this year has been momentous in that many organisations have had to look at equality.

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