The Effect of Women's Contribution To the War Effort on Women's Voting Rights

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The Effect of Women's Contribution To the War Effort on Women's Voting Rights Women over thirty succeeded in getting the vote in 1918. The effort to get the vote had already massively started, but 1918 was straight after the First World War, so was it the main factor that won them the vote? Or maybe it just speeded up the inevitable changes that were already taking place? Or maybe it made little change to previous efforts? I am going to discuss the factors for the questions above to try to decide if the war was the main factor in achieving women’s suffrage. Women decided to stop campaigning when the First World War started, so that they could prove themselves as workers in doing jobs that only men could do before, but now could not because they were fighting. The work that they did was resented by some men because they were worried that women would completely take over jobs in industry, but suffragettes were getting much more respect from the government because of the work that they were doing. The jobs consisted of work towards the war, such as work towards the munition factories. On average they were doing these jobs just as well, or sometimes better, than men were doing them before. Women were now keeping the money that they earned, as opposed to it being given to the husband or father. This meant that when the war had finished some men were not householders, and therefore did not have the right to vote, and of course women were not allowed to vote, so there was a very small amount of people voting! Women saw this as a window of opportunity, and carried on the campaign for suffrage. Another factor that helped women to get suffrage was international trend. By 1918 Denmark, New Zealand and Norway had already given women the vote, and Britain did not want to seem out of step. They decided to make a change in parliament when they replaced some anti-women’s suffrage MPs with those who were pro-women’s suffrage.
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